A Norwegian fund that manages government employees’ pensions has decided to remove its investments from the companies behind the Dakota Access Pipeline, a move that was reportedly inspired by pressure from Norway’s indigenous Sami peoples.
The pipeline is being built by Energy Transfer Partners, or ETP. Allowing the pipeline to cross the Missouri River in North Dakota was opposed by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which argued the route would threaten the tribe’s water sources and sacred sites. After legal challenges and lengthy protests, the pipeline’s construction was halted, but the project was reinstated by the Trump administration.
The fund, KLP, says it went through a “long and thorough” decision-making process before deciding to exclude ETP and three other companies from its portfolio. KLP had about $68 million in those companies; in total, it manages nearly $70 billion in assets.
As NPR has reported, several U.S. cities have chosen to divest from DAPL-associated businesses — that is, intentionally step away from investments and business dealings with them. Most recently, San Francisco’s board of supervisors has voted in favor of divestment.
Most of those divestments, many driven by the #DefundDAPL movement, have targeted the banks that lend money to the oil and gas companies building the pipeline. The Norwegian pension fund, in contrast, went directly after the petroleum companies.
The Guardian and Investment & Pensions Europe both report that the decision was apparently driven by pressure from the Sami Parliament of Norway, a group representing the nation’s indigenous peoples.