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Strengthens and clarifies the ethical guidelines

– The Government introduces absolute thresholds for the product-based coal criterion and presents assessments in relation to the conduct-based climate criterion, thus enabling this criterion to be practised. Today we have also appointed a Committee to review the ethical guidelines for the Government Pension Fund Global, says Siv Jensen, Minister of Finance.

The Government Pension Fund Global and the Government Pension Fund Norway have one objective: The highest possible return within an acceptable level of risk. Responsible investment forms an integral part of the management of the funds. 

Folketrygdfondet and Norges Bank work comprehensively with follow-up of individual companies and also by contributing  to the development of market standards. Clear expectations of companies are expressed and votes are cast in most general assemblies of the companies in which the funds are invested. Dialogue with company executives and directors, as well as risk management, are also important aspects of ongoing work.

Absolute thresholds for the coal criterion
In this year’s report, the coal criterion is amended to also capture companies with considerable coal-related operations in absolute terms. The relative 30-percent thresholds under the criterion are not changed, but are supplemented by absolute thresholds for coal mining and coal power capacity. The Ministry is proposing to put the thresholds at 20 million tonnes for coal mining and 10,000 MW for coal power capacity.

Clarification of the conduct-based climate criterion
Norges Bank has requested clarification from the Ministry of Finance of certain aspects of the conduct-based climate criterion. In the report, the Ministry notes that the evaluation of companies under this criterion should be based on an overall assessment of relevant considerations, including, inter alia, emissions and emission intensity, forward-looking plans and frameworks on climate.

Committee to review the ethical guidelines
The Government has today appointed a Committee to review the ethical guidelines for observation and exclusion. The Committee is chaired by Professor Ola Mestad.

The Committee has been asked to assess, inter alia, whether there is a need for changing the ethical criteria, including whether some criteria should be omitted or new ones added.

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