Another Major Norwegian Investor Divests From Companies Behind Dakota Access Pipeline
by Perry Wheeler
November 24, 2016
Washington, DC – One of Norway’s leading fund managers, Odin Fund Management, announced today that it had sold $23.8 million (243 million NOK) worth of shares invested in the companies behind the Dakota Access pipeline. SpareBank 1, one of the financial institutions that offers Odin Funds, stated that there are strong ethical standards for its investments and it regretted investing in the companies behind the project. Today’s news follows massive protest and engagement from the Saami community and the recent announcement that DNB, the largest bank in Norway, had sold its assets in the pipeline and is reconsidering the loan it provided.
In response to the news, Beaska Niillas, Norwegian Saami Association, said:
“The efforts and all the struggle of those on the frontlines is paying off. This is good news as the snake is taking hits all around the world. And after working together with our Indigenous brothers and sisters at Standing Rock, especially the Water Protectors Legal Collective and many other allies, it’s showing results.
“Now it’s time for DNB to be accountable. DNB made the promise themselves: ‘we won’t be part of projects that violate Indigenous and human rights.’ We provided them with information, and after they’ve seen the pictures and videos, there should no longer be doubt in their minds. But still every rubber bullet gets ten percent DNB funding. The clock is ticking and DNB wants to be on the right side of history when the aftermath comes. The only right thing to do in this urgent situation — terminate the loans.”
Greenpeace Norway Sustainable Finance Campaigner Martin Norman said:
“This is great news, and the right move by Odin Fund Management. If you take corporate social responsibility seriously, and one of your assets invests in a project that is in clear breach of your company guidelines, you get out. It’s as simple as that. All of the other Norwegian banks and funds that claim to have a CSR policy, including KLP, NORDEA, Storebrand, and the Norwegian Oil Fund, must divest from the companies behind the Dakota Access pipeline project immediately.
“The pipeline project is completely out of hand and DNB, the largest bank in Norway, must halt all funding for the project as soon as possible. It is great to see companies divesting from the pipeline, but DNB also has a responsibility to stop its loan disbursements to prevent the project from moving forward.”
Greenpeace USA spokesperson Mary Sweeters stated:
“The financial institutions behind the pipeline are realizing that it is bad business to invest in companies willing to disregard Indigenous sovereignty to destroy sacred Native lands and water supply. The growing movement to divest from the project illustrates a broader recognition that this pipeline was ill-conceived from the beginning. It must be stopped immediately. It’s great to see Norwegian banks and funds leading the way, but it is time for U.S. banks to step up and follow suit. Citibank, the financial institution with the largest share in the pipeline, must divest and halt its loan disbursements immediately. If they continue to allow human rights abuses to occur on their dollar, despite their own policies against financing projects that violate Indigenous rights, we intend to bring a strong message to their doorsteps across the country.”
Contact: Perry Wheeler, Greenpeace USA Media Officer, P: 301-675-8766