FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 21, 2017
Emily Arasim - firstname.lastname@example.org +1 (505) 920-0153
Michelle Cook - email@example.com
Norwegian Oil Fund Recommends Divesting $37 Billion from Oil and Gas Industry
After Meeting Standing Rock Activists in Ongoing Global Divestment Push
SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, Calif. (November 21, 2017) – In the same week the Keystone Pipeline spilled 210,000 gallons of oil in South Dakota, the trillion-dollar Norwegian Oil Fund urged the government of Norway to divest from oil and gas companies - affecting $37 billion worth of investments. This news alone drove energy stocks lower, as the Fund owns on average 1.3% of every publicly traded company in the world. The announcement comes after two delegations of Indigenous women met with the Oil Fund in Oslo to give direct testimony of human and Indigenous rights abuses at Standing Rock. This advocacy work followed other Indigenous frontline communities directly affected by and engaging with the Oil Fund on its fossil fuel investments, including the Indigenous Sami people.
Both the Spring and Autumn Indigenous Women’s Divestment Delegations urged the Council on Ethics to the Fund to divest from companies involved in the Dakota Access Pipeline and tar sands pipelines, especially Energy Transfer Partners (ETP). According to Friends of the Earth Norway, the Fund has nearly $1.2 billion of investments in the pipeline companies. On October 23, three weeks after the Autumn delegation met with the Council on Ethics a second time, the Council announced they would be investigating the women’s concerns that Energy Transfer Partners committed human rights abuses, thereby violating the Oil Fund’s social responsibility requirements.
During the meetings, the women recounted stories of human and indigenous rights violations committed at Standing Rock including counterterrorism tactics, collusion between law enforcement and a para-military security firm called TigerSwan, private security unleashing dogs on unarmed Water Protectors, law enforcement using water cannons in sub-freezing temperatures, and the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (#MMIW) due in part to the rise of oil man camps around Indigenous communities. They also reported on the neglect by engaged companies of Indigenous People’s right to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) as outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.The women continue to lead divestment efforts and direct actions against proposed tar sands pipelines, including Keystone XL, Line 3, and Trans Mountain.
“We are really honored that Norway has taken this position to divest. We understand that supporting all of the fossil fuel companies who have human rights violations is against the moral code of the world and we are glad that they are standing up with Indigenous people. I also want to thank all the people of Norway for their support as we continue to make the world better for everyone. I ask that everyone now take the time to invest in clean energy and learn how to live with the earth in peace and harmony.” - LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, Lakota and Dakota (Standing Rock), Historian, Founder of Sacred Stone Village
"I would like to thank the people of Norway and the Norwegian Parliament for recognizing the urgent need to divest from projects worldwide that violate human and environmental rights. By shouldering the responsibility and taking direct action Norway has once again, proven to be a world leader. Wopila tanka, thank you from Standing Rock." - Waste’ Win Young, Ihunktowanna Dakota, Hunkpapa Lakota (Standing Rock), Former Tribal Historic Preservation Officer
“Indigenous women led the resistance at Standing Rock and Indigenous women brought our stories all the way to Norway’s oil fund, seeking justice for human rights abuses and deterrence for the oil industry moving forward. Impacted communities and allies are creating ripples that are turning into tides. Financing institutions depend on the people to operate - the people want transition to renewables.” - Tara Houska, Anishinaabe (Couchiching First Nation), Tribal Attorney, National Campaigns Director of Honor the Earth, former advisor on Native American affairs to Bernie Sanders
“Last year we saw the largest gathering of Indigenous nations ever in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline; last month Indigenous people led the largest ever protest of bank investments in fossil fuels; and this month Indigenous people have pushed one of the most powerful investors in the world to recommend ditching oil and gas. All of these historical events prove that Indigenous people and other frontline communities move mountains when given a platform. We are still here, fighting for the sustainability of our communities and yours.” - Jackie Fielder, Mnicoujou Lakota (Cheyenne River), Mandan, and Hidatsa (Three Affiliated Tribes), Organizer with Mazaska Talks
“Norway’s Sovereign Fund and its investments in oil and gas development has deep impacts on the rights and survival of Indigenous peoples in the United States and the rest world. Norway has been called the “guardian” of human rights and has adopted the UNDRIP; now is the time to make real these commitments by divesting from industries that contribute to climate change and violate indigenous peoples rights and the rights of Mother Earth. While we celebrate Norges Bank’s recommendation to divest oil and gas, we will continue to request that the Fund divest immediately from the companies behind the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline and exclude them completely from its investment universe for indigenous rights violations in Standing Rock, North Dakota.” - Michelle Cook, J.D. (Diné)
“The banks that are being approached are being approached because they have an opportunity to be the most responsible leaders on the globe now. The leaders of the countries that occupy our traditional territories have historically disenfranchised indigenous peoples from participating in policy. That is why it is necessary to speak with the funders of these countries in order to be heard on a platform of humanity and equality.” - Autumn Star Chacon, (Diné/Xicana)
“We stand in solidarity with the Indigenous women delegates who traveled to Europe twice this year to meet with the Norwegian Sovereign Fund advocating for accountability and divestment from companies that are engaged in the violation of the rights of Indigenous Peoples, human rights, and the rights of nature. The women have been the backbone of resistance efforts at Standing Rock, divestment movements, and campaigns to stop the construction of tar sands pipelines. In the face of increased climate disruption, we welcome that Norges Bank has recommended that the Norwegian government should drop its shares in oil and gas companies, and we will continue to call for justice. We stand in solidarity with the Sami peoples and all the people of Norway who are calling for a better future for the world. Together, with voices of Indigenous women at the forefront, we can restore the health of our communities, transition to clean energy, and build the just world we seek.” - Osprey Orielle Lake, Executive Director of the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) and organizer for the Indigenous Women’s Divestment Delegations
About The Women's Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International
The Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN International) is a solutions-based, multi-faceted organization established to engage women worldwide as powerful stakeholders in climate change, climate justice, and sustainability solutions. WECAN International was founded in 2013 as a project of the 501(c)3 Women’s Earth and Climate Caucus (WECC) organization.