Norway's $1trn wealth fund eyes sale of $40bn oil and gas shares

By Johan De Mulder

Norway could turn its back on fossil fuels with the $40bn sales of its oil and gas shares.

The Nordic country's $1trn wealth fund - the largest of its kind of the world - looks set to dump its shares in companies such as Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell.

In what's being seen as a major boost in the fight against climate change, Norway's fund would become the first equity investor to back out of the sector completely, reports Bloomberg.

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Its central bank, Norges Bank, has advised that a withdrawal from the market will avoid the fund's value from being damaged by the irreversible fall in oil prices.

"It’s an enormously important statement," said Mindy Lubber, president of sustainable investing non-profit Ceres. "Once one major player does it, others will follow."

Norway's government has said it will seriously consider the proposal, with a final decision expected in 2018.

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