NORWAY - The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has accused Norway's Government Pension Fund - Global (NGPFG) of lagging significantly behind other pension funds in its application of socially-responsible investment (SRI) practices.

A joint initiative study between Innovest and WWF rated the Norwegian scheme's strategy for approaching climate change poorly when compared with other institutional investors, and claimed it does not reflect the goals of the Norwegian government in terms of climate change.

The study noted the pension fund has a limited use of SRI techniques which are reliant on negative screening and restricted engagement but which, according to WWF, are counter to recent trends in both the mainstream and the SRI markets.

The study stated large pension funds such as ABP, CalPERS, and the UK's University Superannuation Scheme (USS) have moved beyond negative screening in stock selection and some have even set up thematic environmental funds.

"While the NGPFG does highlight climate change as one of the areas it considers in its ethical guidelines, the extent to which it is integrating climate change considerations into its investment strategies and decision-making appears limited, not yet systematic and at a very early stage of development," according to the report.

WWF wants NGPFG, which is financed through petroleum revenues, to raise and consistently promote ESG issues through strategic investments in financial markets, for instance under a UN umbrella.

The study also suggested NGPFG should consider actively pursuing further development of positive screening, with indicators identifying transformative innovation and development that contribute to a low carbon future.

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