'Global impact' of Norway RE move

Campaigners claimed an announcement by Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg that the country’s huge sovereign wealth fund will get a mandate to invest in renewable energy could make a "global impact".

Solberg said full details of plans to extend the remit of the $790bn fund to cover renewables investments will be released on 4 April.

The fund – the largest in the world – already makes investments in shares, bonds and property on behalf of the oil- and gas-rich nation.

Extending its mandate to make direct investments in renewable energy infrastructure could see billions of dollars flowing into the market.

Solberg said her centre-right coalition government would consider such a change when it was elected last year.

WWF-Norway – part of a coalition that has been campaigning for the move – said: “If done at scale, this will have global impact and redefine how we use money consistent with commitments to limit climate change.

“We have long advocated that the fund invest up to 5% in infrastructure for renewable energy. This will require a change in the guidelines for the fund, similar to the mandate to investing in property that was granted in 2010.”

Supporters of the move have previously said such a change could see the fund – officially called the Government Pension Fund Global – allocating about $10bn a year for renewables investments.

WWF added: "It is rare that one government alone can bend the curve on climate change. Norway, through its sovereign wealth fund, can.”