Fossil divestments trend is killing coal.

By Paul Robinson - 06 Feb 2015 9:55:0 GMT
Fossil divestments trend is killing coal.

The history of fossil fuel stretches back further than we can remember, but the delightful ladies of 1910 are rarely remembered as coal miners in Europe, where advanced coal mining now removes far too much carbon, to be emitted into the air as CO 2 Belgian coal miners image; Credit: © Shutterstock

Small Norway has the biggest pension fund of all nations. GPFG (The Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global) has $850 billion of funds from the country's fossil fuel wealth, but that does not prevent present-day Norway from being as green as they can. The news this week is that they are divesting their resources from all companies that could be affected by environmental damage regulations in the near future. Global warming may slow after all, although it will take a century! As the Paris Conference on Climate Change approaches, this could mean many investors withdraw funds from the 114 companies involved here. The political element is also effective, of course, but money rules in most cases, so fossils can expect to be left in the ground.

Most of the companies are coal mines, tar-sand excavators, cement companies, and electricity generators (with coal fired power stations) Deforestation and environmental disturbance links also caused the demise of coal mines in India, Indonesia and the US. To compound the effects of this giant withdrawal, Chinese demand for coal seems to have peaked and investment advisors have already declared they would encourage an end to the use of coal for electricity generation and investment in it (eg. Axa Investment and Goldman Sachs.)

In 2012, the GPFG sold all of its 23 oil palm producer holdings. None had long-term business models in terms of sustainability while Malaysian and Indonesian rainforest degradation were specifically mentioned as being the reason for Golden Agri-Resources and others being dumped. Nuclear weapons and cluster munitions also caused the withdrawal of investment from Lockheed Martin by GPFG and 40 other companies. How much of this is the result of the work of campaigners like Bill McKibben is discussed by the Guardian here, while the opposing side seemed to occupy the high ground only back in December 2014, with gigantic increases in coal use, exports and even new mines.