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The Norwegian Government Pension Fund – Global experienced enormous losses in 2008, but the investments in tobacco are still increasing at full speed. In one year the tobacco investments have increased by all of 24.6%, from 1.3 billion euros to NOK 1.6 billion. Never before have the tobacco investments been higher.

The Norwegian Government Pension Fund – Global has increased its investments in nine companies that contribute substantially to the climate change: from 1.3 billion to 1.6 billion euros. Investments in Exxon alone have increased from 900 million euros to 1.4 billion euros.

For a few days more you will still find tomatoes from occupied Western Sahara on the vegetable counters of the Norwegian grocery store Coop. On Wednesday they stopped the controversial import.

The residents of the village of Nyakabale in Tanzania are afraid of what they are eating, drinking, and washing in. They are next-door neighbours to East Africa’s largest gold mine and are convinced that poison from the mine is making them sick.

The 1800 workers who pick asparagus for the Norwegian-registered agricultural company Camposol in Peru spend 12 hours at their workplace every day. But they are only paid for 8 hours.

The importation of clothing from Burma has once again been reduced by 50% in one year. Even though the value of the teak importation from Burma increased last year by all of 62%, from 4.4 million Norwegian kroners (500.000 euro) to 7.2 million (823.000 euro), the import volume of tropical timber from the military dictatorship has nevertheless decreased by 17.4% in 2008.

The value of Norwegian weapons export increased in 2008 by all of 44.5%. For the first time the figures for foreign trade show that the export amounts to more than 3 billion kroners (354.000 euros). That is 954 million kroners more than in 2007. The weapons export to the USA alone has increased by no less than 85.6% and is now 1.7 billion kroners (199.000 euros).

The Norwegian cement company Scancem wishes to evict 3000 Tanzanian farmers from a property outside Dar es Salaam. The case will soon reach the Tanzanian Court of Appeals.
Western Sahara independence movement, Polisario, strongly reacts to the news that Fugro-Geoteam is involved in oil exploration in occupied Western Sahara, and demands that Fugro immediately withdraws from the territory.
A huge Norwegian research vessel has in secret travelled to the coast of occupied Western Sahara. This weekend the Norwegian company Fugro-Geoteam started a controversial operation to carry out oil exploration, in defiance of the advice of the UN and the Norwegian government.
“If the Norwegian Government Pension Fund – Global sells off its shares in the tobacco industry, this will create a precedent and a model that it can be done and it should be done for ethical reasons,” Stella Bialous, independent expert and senior adviser to the World Health Organisation, stated.
Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights is not recognised by Norway. But our state-owned Wine and Spirits Monopoly (Vinmonopolet) nevertheless sells wine from the occupied area and marks it as Israel-produced.
Norwegian authorities can not answer whether goods from settlers in Palestine or Western Sahara are given a customs reduction on arrival in Norway.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry knew about the transaction but did not try to stop the import of phosphate from Western Sahara. Norway may have broken international law.
In August Yara’s plant on Herøya imported phosphate from occupied West Sahara, contrary to the advice of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Yara may have paid 4,3 million euros to a Moroccan state company for phosphate stolen from its occupied neighbour.