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Norwegian investments in tax havens are increasing. In 2010 Norwegian investors placed more money in exotic tax havens than in Sweden.
The Norwegian Government Pension Fund – Global has shares in 90 of the world’s 100 largest oil companies listed on stock exchanges and in 67 of the 100 largest coal companies. Altogether NKR 241 billion are invested in companies that own more carbon than what we can use if the world is to fulfil the 2ºC goal. This is shown by a calculation made by The Future in Our Hands.
The Canadian mining company Nevsun is accused of profiting from forced labour. The Norwegian Government Pension Fund – Global has invested NKR 74 million in the company.
Eritrea’s youth is fleeing the country by the thousands to get away from forced labour and one of the world’s most repressive countries. The authoritarian government of Eritrea has invited international mining companies to participate in the extraction of gold, copper, and other minerals. The Norwegian Government Pension Fund – Global is taking part in the gold rush, as investor in three mining companies in Eritrea, which all contribute to maintaining the controversial regime.
The farm workers’ story of how South Africa’s wine is produced is seldom heard. A bottle of red wine from the wrong vineyard carries the scent of suppression and the taste of bitter tears.
The Church of Norway has, through Opplysningsvesenets Fond (OvF), made a show of ethical investments in tree-planting companies in Mozambique. But the reduction in poverty and the afforestation remained on paper only. OvF now admits that agricultural land has been stolen from farmers with small holdings and original forest has been cut down.
Not everyone is happy about the enormous influx of second-hand clothes to Uganda. Trade unions and business executives believe it will finish off the local textile industry.
Norwegians export more than double as much second-hand clothes as 10 years ago, altogether 20,000 tonnes in 2011. Perhaps your used trousers or tight top will find a new owner at the second-hand market in Uganda?
Norway has granted millions in aid to the development of the Ugandan oil sector. Critics are arguing that the aid contributes to secrecy, corruption and inadequate legal regulations. They are urging the Norwegian government to pressure Uganda to ensure that the oil industry does not end up being a curse for the country.
The Norwegian company Green Resourcehas has aqcuired vast areas of land for tree planting projects in Uganda. The company may earn good money from selling carbon credits, but local residents are losing their gardens and grazing fields to the plantation.
Uganda Land Alliance (ULA) is worried that local communities suffer when foreign investors acquire land in the country’s many forest and nature reserves. Ugandan laws do not take into consideration the livelihood concerns of the citizens and the companies hide behind the unjust laws, the organisation says.
Every year Det Norske Veritas (DNV) approves the sustainability reports that the Chinese state shipping company Cosco delivers to the UN Global Compact. Every year Cosco has been involved in accidents and scandals, which the company refrains from mentioning in its reports. Every year DNV has approved the reports in commendatory words, without calling attention to the accidents.
In the spring many of the grapes in Norwegian shops come from De Doorns in South Africa. These sweet grapes are picked by farm labourers who work for 60 Rand a day, have a 4-month work contract and live in dire poverty.
At the same time that Ethiopian authorities are using mineral fertiliser as political coercion tactics, Yara has applied to Ethiopian authorities for a license for mining operations and a factory worth billions.
Norway has used millions of aid money to fight tax fraud by international mining companies in Zambia. The Norwegian Oil Fund has invested more than 1.3 billion kroner in the same companies. Several organizations have filed a complaint against two of the companies for violating the OECD guidelines for multinational enterprises.