Norway seeks to green its oil fund

Portion of national petroleum profits to be invested along environmental guidelines

A proportion of the Norwegian Petroleum Fund containing money levied by the state on hydrocarbons production is to be managed according to environmental principles, the government announced yesterday. About NKr1bn (euros 121m) will be hived off into a separate account and invested according to a set of environmental guidelines now being worked out by the finance and environment ministries. These are likely to restrict investment to companies that have published environmental reports or achieved environmental certificates, as well as performing well against a range of benchmarks including emissions, energy consumption and material consumption per unit of production. Operation of the fund will be reviewed after three years, with a view to increasing its size. Announcing the development as part of the revised 1999 national budget, the finance ministry estimated the market value of the total fund at NKr203bn at the end of 1999.

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