Quantcast

Norway's Wealth Fund Dumps Duke Energy Over 'Risk of Severe Environmental Damage'

Energy

Norway's central bank announced on Wednesday that the Norwegian Government's Pension Fund, worth $900 billion, will no longer invest in Duke Energy.

This decision is the result of an investigation by the Council on Ethics for the pension fund, which found that Duke Energy's failure to adequately respond to its leaking coal ash impoundments in North Carolina constituted "an unacceptable risk of severe environmental damage."

Duke Energy coal ash spill into the Dan River near Eden, North Carolina in February 2014. The spill was the third largest coal ash spill in U.S. history.Waterkeeper Alliance

Based on its assessment, the council recommended that Duke Energy be excluded from the fund on ethical grounds. Nearly 4.7 million Duke shares and bonds, valued at $545 million, have been sold by the Norwegian Pension Fund.

In May 2015, I presented data and information to the Norwegian Parliament and Council on Ethics about the extensive and ongoing water pollution from Duke Energy coal ash ponds, advocating that they sell Duke Energy stocks for ethical reasons.

Waterkeeper recently sent a data packet to Norway emphasizing that Duke had not stopped ongoing leaks of heavy metals into drinking water supplies and plans to leave 70 percent of its coal ash in leaking ponds in North Carolina.

I am thrilled that the Council on Ethics determined that Duke's abysmal performance and severe environmental risk still posed by Duke Energy's leaking ash ponds warranted a special divestiture.

Duke Energy joins the list of many companies whose performance is so unacceptable to the Council of Ethics that they are black-listed as unsuitable for investment by one of the world's largest sovereign wealth funds.

Waterkeeper Alliance will continue to present to major institutional shareholders of coal companies to inform them of the unacceptable environmental risk of leaking ash ponds into drinking water supplies. Until this industry finally stops its recalcitrant and illegal behavior, we will continue to advocate for divestment from these major polluters all over the world.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

belchonock / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Hrefna Palsdottir, MS

Coconut oil is an incredibly healthy fat.

Read More Show Less
Wesley Martinez Da Costa / EyeEm / Getty Images

By David R. Montgomery

Would it sound too good to be true if I was to say that there was a simple, profitable and underused agricultural method to help feed everybody, cool the planet, and revitalize rural America? I used to think so, until I started visiting farmers who are restoring fertility to their land, stashing a lot of carbon in their soil, and returning healthy profitability to family farms. Now I've come to see how restoring soil health would prove as good for farmers and rural economies as it would for the environment.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
skaman306 / Moment / Getty Images

By Jillian Kubala, MS, RD

Radish (Raphanus sativus) is a cruciferous vegetable that originated in Asia and Europe (1Trusted Source).

Read More Show Less
Tinnakorn Jorruang / iStock / Getty Images

By Dan Nosowitz

The budding research on cannabidiol, or CBD, attracts a great deal of interest in the agricultural field.

Read More Show Less
Oksana Khodakovskaia / iStock / Getty Images

By Jillian Kubala, MS, RD

The loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) is a tree native to China that's prized for its sweet, citrus-like fruit.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released new numbers that show vaping-related lung illnesses are continuing to grow across the country, as the number of fatalities has climbed to 33 and hospitalizations have reached 1,479 cases, according to a CDC update.

Read More Show Less
During the summer, the Arctic tundra is usually a thriving habitat for mammals such as the Arctic fox. Education Images / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Reports of extreme snowfall in the Arctic might seem encouraging, given that the region is rapidly warming due to human-driven climate change. According to a new study, however, the snow could actually pose a major threat to the normal reproductive cycles of Arctic wildlife.

Read More Show Less
Vegan rice and garbanzo beans meals. Ella Olsson / Pexels

By Alina Petre, MS, RD (CA)

One common concern about vegan diets is whether they provide your body with all the vitamins and minerals it needs.

Many claim that a whole-food, plant-based diet easily meets all the daily nutrient requirements.

Read More Show Less