Norway’s government is said to be considering pumping oil money from its sovereign wealth fund into renewable energy projects.
The largest fund in the world worth $750 billion (£469 billion), a special scheme could be set up within it to invest in sustainable companies and projects in developing countries and emerging markets.
The revelation came in the official programme of the new government – a coalition between the Conservative and Progress parties.
A separate mandate to invest in renewable energy is also being mulled over. At the moment the fund can only invest in listed equities, bonds and real estate.
The move follows the signing of an open letter by a patchwork alliance of companies and organisations – from the insurance company KLP to the Catholic Diocese of Oslo to Greenpeace – calling for the fund to expand its scope.
The letter says the fund is well suited to investing in renewable energy because of its size and the relative unimportance of liquidity.
Nina Jensen, CEO of WWF-Norway, one of the letter’s signatories said: “Norwegian savings could change the world. This would provide a powerful boost for the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy.”
Last month Norway’s departing government canned a full-scale carbon capture project.