Norway’s sovereign wealth fund has called for a greater focus on energy efficiency, arguing that companies should disclose their renewable energy consumption targets and report on use of low-carbon products.

Responding to changes proposed by CDP – formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project – to its climate change questionnaire, which gathers comparative data on the water, energy and carbon footprint of around 5,000 companies, Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) said it welcomed the move to improve data quality.

NBIM cited the importance of usable data, as it would allow the NOK7.1trn (€776n) Government Pension Fund Global’s manager to understand the financial risks associated with climate change.

In a joint letter by Petter Johnsen, equities CIO, and William Abrose, the fund’s global head of ownership strategies, the manager said: “We support the development and disclosure of consistent and objective data on current and potential future greenhouse gas emissions, reported according to well-defined and transparent methodologies.”

Johnsen and Ambrose said any estimates of carbon disclosures should enjoy the confidence of investors to allow them to influence investment decisions.

“NBIM believes that introducing measurement and reporting of sector-specific climate-change challenges will facilitate a deeper and richer understanding of the operational challenges and risks for groups of companies,” the letter added. 

“The addition of sectoral questionnaires will help cater for sector specificities.”

It also stressed that it would be important to include energy-transition initiatives – such as low-carbon products and self-imposed targets for renewable energy consumption – to further help investors.

The letter concluded: “In this context, we want to stress the importance of energy efficiency in the transition to a lower-carbon economy and would recommend adding metrics to give companies the ability to report on energy-efficiency achievements.

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System’s director of global governance Anne Simpson recently highlighted the importance of energy-efficiency targets in limiting the global temperature increase to 2° C, a target seen as the best chance of averting catastrophic climate change by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.