Exclusion of metallurgical and mining company
On the advice of the Council on Ethics for the Government Pension Fund – Global, the Norwegian Ministry of Finance has decided to exclude the Russian metallurgical and mining company Norilsk Nickel. The Council on Ethics finds it probable that Norilsk’s operations are contributing to extensive environmental damage that will have effects far into the future. This is deemed to be in breach of the ethical guidelines for the Fund.
The Council on Ethics has assessed Norilsk Nickel’s Polar Division on the Taymyr Peninsula in Siberia and the pollution problems connected with operations there.
In its recommendation the Council on Ethics emphasises inter alia that many years of especially high emissions of SO2 and heavy metals from Norilsk’s activities on the Taymyr Peninsula have inflicted extensive, lasting damage on the environment, which the forest, vegetation and waters surrounding the operations clearly bear signs of. The Council finds that the emissions from the company are the direct cause of forest death and other serious, visible damage to the natural environment in the Norilsk area on the Taymyr Peninsula.
Furthermore the Council on Ethics emphasises that the over 200,000 people who live in the vicinity of the company’s industrial operations on the Taymyr Peninsula are continuously exposed to high concentrations of pollutants in the air, soil and water. Health problems and illnesses among persons subjected to prolonged exposure to SO2, nickel and heavy metals are well established. The Council attaches particular weight to the impacts on the health of children and infants, who are especially vulnerable to high levels of air pollution.