OSLO (Reuters) - Norway’s $945 billion wealth fund owns stakes in companies that are responsible for emitting 90 to 100 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, or about twice what Norway emits per year, its CEO said on Tuesday.
The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund has a mandate from the Norwegian parliament to address climate change, either by divesting or entering an active dialogue as an owner, with companies that produce “unacceptable” levels of greenhouse gases.
Divestments are recommended by an ethics watchdog, which is expected to make its first recommendation based on this criterion to the board of the Norwegian central bank by July.
The fund has been working for two years to quantify the carbon emissions from companies it invests in, and to work out what share of these emissions it ‘owns’, said CEO Yngve Slyngstad.
“Now we think that number is between 90 and 100 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent,” Slyngstad told a business conference. “This is twice what comes from the Norwegian territory.”
Norway emitted the equivalent of 53.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2015.
Its wealth fund invests in close to 9,000 companies worldwide -- owning on average 1.3 percent of all listed equities -- as well as bonds and real estate.
Reporting by Gwladys Fouche; Editing by Mark Trevelyan