Norway votes to end investments in coal

Norway votes to end investments in coal
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Norway approved a plan Friday to dramatically reduce the coal interests in its investment fund.

The parliament voted unanimously to pull its Government Pension Fund Global, the second-largest investment fund in the world, out of companies that get more than 30 percent of their activity from coal, Reuters reported.

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The decision is a major victory for environmental activists, who have sought to take on fossil fuel companies through divestment. Coal has been a top target of the effort because it is one of the most polluting fuel sources.

In the United States, the divestment push has focused on colleges and universities, with mixed results. Georgetown University on Thursday said it would divest from coal.

"Norway's decision to take a stand against coal is an example for other governments — and for investors — about shifting from polluting energy sources towards clean, renewable power," Kumi Naidoo, head of Greenpeace International, told Reuters.

The Norwegian wealth fund is worth about $880 billion, and the government estimates it will have to sell about $5 billion in shares, including from companies such as Duke Energy Corp., RWE AG, American Electric Power Co. and Dominion Resources Inc.