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Editorial: Green bluff in the suitcase

When the Minister of Environment Torbjørn Berntsen recently arrived in New York to take part in the UN's 5 years after Rio-conference on environment and development, he brought with him in his suitcase the government report on what Norway has done in practice to follow up Agenda 21.
Artikkelen er mer enn to år gammel. Ting kan ha endret seg.
When the Minister of Environment Torbjørn Berntsen recently arrived in New York to take part in the UN's 5 years after Rio-conference on environment and development, he brought with him in his suitcase the government report on what Norway has done in practice to follow up Agenda 21.

Among the examples in the report, Storebrand's Environmental Fund is given one page of boasting for "having capital work for the environment". An alluring thought, of course. However, the way the Environmental Fund's capital has worked for the environment during the last year, will hardly make the world more sustainable for human beings and for the nature. Or what does the Minister of Environment have to say about the fact that Storebrand's Environmental Fund invested in the world's largest mining company, Rio Tinto Zink, and the waste disposal company WMX - both with obviously reprehensible behaviour towards indigenous peoples and the environment, and WMX with over 100 fines for environmental crimes in the 1980s in the USA only?  

What about the investment in the Lorentzen company Aracruz, which occupies Indian territory, denies workers the right to organize in trade unions and destroys the environment? What about the investment in Novartis, which in recent years has patented genetically modified animals and plants so dubious that they have been prohibited in the EU? Are these among Norway's most outstanding Agenda 21 initiatives? While the Minister of Environment pulls his green bluff out of his suitcase in New York, the Environmental Fund is obviously governed by capital.

Norwatch Newsletter 8/97