April 15, 2015 / 6:22 AM / 5 years ago

Norway's oil fund backs more focus on climate change at BP, Shell

OSLO, April 15 (Reuters) - Norway’s oil fund, the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund, said on Wednesday it would back a proposal from shareholders of BP and Royal Dutch Shell for further information from the companies on risks and opportunities associated with climate change.

The $885 billion Fund, which invests revenues from Norway’s offshore oil and gas production, disclosed its voting intentions for the first time ahead of the companies’ shareholders meeting, in line with its previously announced strategy to increase transparency.

“As a long-term investor, we believe that the identification of future scenarios for climate regulation, carbon pricing, and environmental conditions is a useful tool to support strategic decision-making and we thereby support these resolutions,” said Petter Johnsen, the Fund’s chief investment officer equity strategies.

The information on climate change is proposed to be included as a part of the companies’ annual reporting from 2016.

The Church of England said in December it would file shareholder resolutions on climate change at BP and Shell, the companies with biggest carbon footprints of all the companies listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Norway’s oil fund, which has become one of the biggest investors in the world and owns over 1 percent of global shares with holdings in more than 9,000 companies, said it will publish voting intentions for a selected number of firms and for “certain fundamental issues”.

Norway planned to drop investments in companies emitting unacceptable amounts of greenhouse gases in a sharpening of environmental rules for its sovereign wealth fund, the Finance Ministry said on April 10.

Last year, the fund dropped investments in about 50 coal mining companies, including 14 mining coal for electricity generation and 11 in Indonesia judged to be causing deforestation. Previously, it has outlawed investments in areas including nuclear weapons and tobacco. (Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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