Greens Build on Wealth Fund Win to Ban Oslo From Fossil Fuels

Norway’s Green Party is forcing the capital city’s $9.3 billion pension manager to sell out of fossil fuel companies, building on momentum from helping re-shape guidelines for the nation’s $860 billion sovereign wealth fund.

The party surged in municipal elections last month, winning 8.1 percent of votes in Oslo, making it the third largest party. They will now for the first time form a government with the Labor Party and the Socialist Left.

“Oslo will take responsibility for the climate, both through our own policies and our investments,” Lan Marie Nguyen Berg, first candidate for the city’s Green Party, said in an e-mailed statement. 

The city will also halve CO2 emissions compared to 1990 levels in five years and reduce them by 95 percent within 2030 and work to ban cars in the inner city, according to a governing platform released on Monday.

The Greens entered Norway’s parliament for the first time in 2013 and have since spurred a shifttoward greener policies. They set in motion a drive to ban the wealth fund, the world’s largest, from coal investments that eventually gathered support across eight parties. That move could trigger about $6.6 billion in divestments.

Oslo Pensjonsforsikring AS, the city’s pension fund, is working on how it will implement the proposed ban and is compiling a list of companies it will need to sell, Chief Executive Officer Aamund Lunde said by phone. He declined to say how much will be sold or how many companies would be covered.

“It will all take some time to settle -- we will cooperate” with the government on this, Lunde said.

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