Representational image/ Climate change slogan
Representational image/ Climate change slogan
Markus Spiske

A Norwegian pension fund said Monday that it is divesting over USD 47 million from 27 companies, including Exxon and Chevron, as part of its commitment to combating climate change. The fund warned other major oil and gas companies it might drop them as well.

Storebrand, which manages assets worth USD 91 billion, had over USD 12 million invested in Exxon and more than USD 10 million in Chevron.

It said it is also selling its stocks in U.K.-based mining company Rio Tinto and German chemicals maker BASF.

The Oslo-based fund called climate change "one of the greatest risks facing humanity" and accused several of the companies it is divesting from of "lobbying activities which undermine action to solve this crisis." "The Exxons and Chevrons of the world are holding us back," Storebrand's chief executive, Jan Erik Saugestad, said in a statement.

"This initial move does not mean that BP, Shell, Equinor and other oil and gas majors can rest easy and continue with business as usual, even though they are performing relatively better than U.S. oil majors." He called on other investors to help speed up the transition away from fossil fuels.

"We need to accelerate away from oil and gas without deflecting attention onto carbon offsetting and carbon capture and storage," Saugestad said.

"Renewable energy sources like solar and wind power are readily available alternatives." Among the other companies that Storebrand is divesting from are Japan's Mitsui Corp., Kansai Electric Power Company and Chubu Electric Power Company, which Saugestad said were "too slow to get out of coal." Storebrand's policies include not investing in companies that lobby against the 2015 Paris climate accord or which derive more than 5 per cent of their revenue from coal or oil sands.

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