Norway's Sovereign Duty
Having built its wealth by pumping hydrocarbons out of the seabed, Norway has an obligation to leverage the power of its massive sovereign wealth fund in the fight against climate change. With COP26 fast approaching, it should focus on building a new coalition of sovereign funds committed to net-zero emissions targets.
BRUSSELS – Recent developments in Norway could have momentous implications for climate-related commitments at the UN climate-change conference (COP26) in Glasgow this November.
In August, a government-appointed committee recommended that Norway put its sovereign wealth fund (SWF) on track for net-zero greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, and that the fund’s activities be made consistent with Norway’s commitments under international climate agreements. Soon thereafter, the Norwegian Labour Party’s candidate for prime minister, Jonas Gahr Støre, confirmed that, if elected, he would introduce a net-zero target for the fund. Now that Støre has emerged victorious in this month’s parliamentary elections, his challenge is to form a coalition that will allow him to follow through on his conviction.
Norway’s $1.4 trillion Government Pension Fund Global is the world’s largest SWF. But the country has been hesitant to put the weight of its fund behind its own international climate commitments. It is not alone.