NORWAY – The 942.4 billion-crown (115.6 billion-euro) Petroleum Fund’s new advisory council on ethics was set up today by royal decree, the Ministry of Finance said.

It will advise on screening companies involved in weapons production, human rights abuses, severe environmental degradation and corruption.

The five-member council was established as part of the implementation of the ethical guidelines for the fund, based on a proposal from the Graver Committee, which presented its report in June 2003.

The mandate of the council is to advise the Ministry of Finance on screening and exclusion of companies whose activities may be inconsistent with the ethical guidelines for the fund.

The council will be chaired by Gro Nystuen. Members include Andreas Føllesdal, Anne Lill Gade, Ola Mestad and Bjørn Østbø.

The ministry has published a new regulation on the management of the fund which become effective on December 1.

According to the new regulation the council “provides an evaluation of whether potential investments in financial instruments issued by specified issuers are inconsistent with the ethical guidelines”.

The council will submit an annual report on its activities to the Ministry of Finance.