World’s largest wealth fund blacklists four Canadian oil and gas companies

Between 2006 and 2016, the oil and gas extraction sector in Canada spent significantly more than any other industry on environmental protection

Norway’s central bank, Norges Bank, has decided to exclude four Canadian oil and gas companies from the Government Pension Fund Global, the world’s largest wealth fund.

“Norges Bank’s Executive Board has decided to exclude the companies Canadian Natural Resources Limited, Cenovus Energy Inc, Suncor Energy Inc, and Imperial Oil Limited after an assessment that acts or omissions that on an aggregate company level lead to unacceptable greenhouse gas emissions, ref. section 3, subsection d, of the Guidelines for Observation and Exclusion of Companies from the Government Pension Fund Global. The Council on Ethics recommended to exclude the companies because of carbon emissions from production of oil to oil sands. It is the first time this criterion is being applied,” it said in a statement.

On Wednesday, the Canadian Energy Centre released its latest Fact Sheet: “Environmental spending in Canada: Comparisons by industry and by province.”  The organization, which was established last year by the Alberta government, said the data shows that between 2006 and 2016, the oil and gas extraction sector in Canada spent significantly more than any other industry on environmental protection. It also shows that Alberta’s provincial government spending on environmental protection was higher per capita than the average of the other nine provinces between 2008 and 2018.

“Among other expenditures, environmental protection spending encompasses everything from reclamation and decommission of abandoned and orphan wells, to the installation of pollution prevention processes and technologies, as well as environmental audits and wildlife protection,” said the organization. 

Here are some of the highlights from the report:

  • A conservative estimate shows the oil and gas sector spent $24.5 billion (measured biannually) between 2006 and 2016, more than four times the next highest spender, electric power generation at $5.6 billion;
  • The oil and gas industry accounted for 42 per cent of environmental protection spending in Canada, while all other industries combined spent $33.5 billion;
  • Looking at provincial government spending, Alberta spent $18.2 billion (measured annually) on environmental protection between 2008 and 2018, accounting for 17 per cent of the $106 billion spent by all 10 provinces even though Alberta’s proportion of the population was under 12 per cent;
  • Ontario, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan also spent more on environmental protection relative to their share of the population, while Quebec, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland & Labrador spent less than their share of the population. Prince Edward Island spent parallel to its share of provincial population totals; and
  • Alberta spent more per capita on environmental protection than any other province in every year except Nova Scotia in 2009. When the annual average of the other nine provinces is compared, Alberta spent substantially more per capita than all the other provinces on environmental protection in every year. 

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