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Firms Falling Short On Climate Action: Norway Fund

Norway
Reuters
16/08/2010
Alister Doyle and Gwladys Fouche


Companies in energy-intensive sectors such as oil production, chemicals and transport are doing too little to combat climate change, Norway's $455 billion sovereign wealth fund said on Friday.

The fund, number two in the world behind that of the United Arab Emirates, said it hoped a survey it released on Friday would spur companies to do more on global warming, in the same way that a previous report had helped curb use of child labor.

Yngve Slyngstad, head of a fund built from Norway's vast oil and gas revenues and which controls 0.5 percent of world equities, also told Reuters the survey was not a veiled threat to sell poor performers.

"We hope that this work will eventually heighten the interest and the focus of the board members on these (climate change) issues. It is a long-term work...That does not mean that we are using this as a whipping stick to buy or sell companies."

Slyngstad said the fund wanted to widen the spotlight from oil firms and power generators which came out best in the survey of 476 firms across six industrial sectors.

They were trailed by building materials firms and basic resources groups such as metals producers. Chemicals and transport firms were bottom.

The "Investor Expectations on Climate Change Management" survey details the fund's expectations, such as publishing corporate climate performance, greenhouse gas targets, and giving details of climate regulations firms favor.

Separately on Friday, the fund said it lost 5.4 percent on its investments in the second quarter as its core holding in BP shares halved in value and other stocks also fell [ID:nLDE67C0RS] WHIP

The survey by the fund, formally known as the Global Pension Fund -- Global, did not name individual companies. The fund has long said it wants to promote green investments, even though it itself is built on fossil fuels.

Slyngstad said he hoped the climate change survey would mirror a two-year effort by the fund to curb child labor.

"What we saw on the child labor survey was that the first year also was disappointing. The second year we saw quite a bit of improvement," he said.

Last year, Monsanto, Bayer, Syngenta and DuPont agreed to work together to combat child labor in seed production in a partnership initiated by Norway's fund.

Slyngstad said the fund had only taken information from public sources for its climate survey and was following up with letters to 403 firms.

He said it had not been enough for firms to report confidential data to the Carbon Disclosure Project, an international scheme to track climate action. Companies also had to make their data publicly available, he said.

 

The news content in this section is responsibility of the information agencies and does not necessarily reflect the position of the Government of Mexico on this or other related topics.

El contenido de las noticias que se presentan en esta sección es responsabilidad directa de las agencias emisoras de noticias y no necesariamente reflejan la posición del Gobierno de México en este u otros temas relacionados.

    

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