The expert group Skancke Committee was appointed in 2014 to assess whether an exclusion of the coal and petroleum sector from the Oil Fund (GPFG) would be a more effective strategy for addressing climate issues than the Fund's influence through the exercise of ownership.
The committee was chaired by a business economist Martin Skancke – former chief of staff in the Ministry of Finance and central to the construction of the GPFG at the end of the 1990 century.
Inappropriate with politics. The Skancke Committee concluded that such a sector-wide exclusion would not be a better strategy than exercising ownership. The Committee argued that the use of the GPFG for political purposes – in this case, to give guidance on climate policy – was inappropriate and in conflict with the GPFG's purpose clause. The Skancke Committee recommended that a "mechanism for ad hoc exclusion from the Fund be introduced by companies contributing to severe climate damage". This materialized in the coal and climate criterion, which was introduced in the guidelines 2016.
Rather exercise of ownership. The conclusion of the Skancke Committee in 2014 was that "Exercise of ownership should (...) be the Government Pension Fund Global's (GPFG) most important tool for addressing climate issues".
The Skancke Committee also discussed the risk of so-called stranded assets and whether such a risk could justify the exclusion of the entire sector from the GPFG. The committee concluded that they were not.
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