Monday, 16 January 2017

Why Norway refuses to invest in nuclear weapons

Larry Elliott’s important article on the merits of a sovereign wealth fund for the UK (“Financing the future: Norway’s $885 bn-nil advantage in Britain’s sea of social troubles,” The Guardian, 16 January; omitted one salient fact in his discussion of Norway’s SWF: it excludes investment in nuclear weapons.

Norway’s SWF has decided to “establish that the fund assets shall not be invested in companies that, themselves or through entities they control: produce weapons that violate fundamental humanitarian principles through their normal use.” Government Pension Fund Global excludes producers and developers of nuclear weapons based on recommendations provided by the Norwegian Council on Ethics. Thus the  revised Norwegian National Budget for 2004 provided a  detailed list of weapons covered by the exclusion criteria, including nuclear weapons. (

(“Norway's $810 bln wealth fund to question companies on human rights,” Reuters, 4 February 2016;

In  2013, DNB -Norway's largest financial services group -  decided to extend its weapons of mass destruction policy to its commercial banking activities, which means that DNB no longer provides credit or finance to companies with activities related to nuclear weapons. As a consequence, DNB actively ended its participation in a loan to Honeywell. (DNB Corporate Social Responsibility Report 2013”, p.16;

And Norway has made this ethical shift  depite its former prime minister, Jens Stoltenberg, being now the Secretary General of the nuclear weapons-dependent NATO, since 2014

This is the kind of progressive investment financing Mr Corbyn’s Labour could be proposing for Labour, instead of backing the trades union demands it picks a candidate for the by-election in Copeland that supports both nuclear power  new build and the Trident nuclear powered and nuclear WMD launch platform submarine. (“Corbyn welcomes byelection challenges, “16 January;

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