Deforestation: Norway Pulls Funding
The reasons for deforestation are numerous – the over exploitation of a natural resource, the use of land for cattle and crops, or more often a combination of the two. But now one country is taking a stand. Norway’s sovereign wealth fund is funded by oil revenues and is the largest in the world, standing at around $1 trillion in assets. In the past, the fund, known as the Government Pension Fund Global, has invested in agribusinesses that have directly or indirectly been involved in deforestation such as Sipef, Olam and Halcyon Agri, but all are currently missing from the GPFG list of benefactors last year.
However, it seems the Norwegian Government has gone further, removing 30 companies that have previously been included in the list. In particular, companies involved in palm oil production have been targeted and divested of funds – a move that has been welcomed by environmentalists. It’s clear to see why this decision has been taken. Palm oil is produced in the region between 10 degrees north and south of the Equator and production has increased as world demand for edible oils has risen. The results in many cases have been devastating, with harm being caused to indigenous forests and wildlife habitats.
It will be interesting to see if other governments follow suit.