Government investments in alcohol industry up against the wall

Four Norwegian NGOs are running a new campaign putting Norwegian politicians, if not up against the wall then up on the wall, to exclude alcohol investments from the government’s “Oil Fund”. The message of the campaign is that these investments go contrary to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Norwegian State Pension Fund has invested around 9.8 billion USD in multinational alcohol companies.

«Probably not the best investment in the world»

The campaign is run by FORUT, IOGT Norway, Juvente and Blue Cross Norway. The Oil Fund, formally called the Norwegian Government Pension Fund, is one of the biggest sovereign wealth funds in the world and has large investments in the global alcohol producers.

videos and pictures for use in social media are included.

The main elements are advertisements painted on walls in Kampala, Uganda, in the same fashion as alcohol advertisements you find all over the African continent. These advertisements highlight the message of the campaign: “Norwegian Government investments in alcohol hamper the achievements of the UN sustainable goals” and “Probably not the best investment in the world”. The paintings feature the Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, and Minister of Finance, Siv Jensen, putting the responsible politicians, if not up against the wall – then up on the wall.

The Norwegian Ministry of Finance has on a regular basis transferred capital to the fund from the Norwegian state’s petroleum revenues, hence the name “Oil Fund”. The fund’s capital is invested abroad, to avoid overheating the Norwegian economy and to shield it from the effects of oil price fluctuations.

A review by FORUT of the latest public list of investments (31 December 2018) indicated that at least 86 billion Norwegian kroner (9.8 billion US Dollars) are invested in alcohol producers, most of it in the biggest multinational companies. The ministry determines the fund’s investment strategy, following advice from among others Norges Bank Investment Management and discussions in Parliament.

A few days before the launch of the alcohol, SDG, Oil Fund campaign, another big Norwegian investor, KLP Pension Fund, announced that they will divest from alcohol. KLP is the biggest private pension fund in Norway and said to Financial Times that they will invest in «businesses which to a greater extent contribute to a safe and better world for everyone.»

You can see the campaign elements, reports (in English) etc. at the website:

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