Norwegian banks invest billions in oil sands

LEISMER, CANADA. StatoilLEISMER, CANADA. Statoil.Photo: Gorm Kallestad / Scanpix

Despite the fact that they are critical to oil sands, Norwegian banks have invested several billion in oil sands companies.

A survey named ‘Future in Our Hands’ (FIOH) has been conducted, which shows that Nordea has invested 14.4 billion in companies involved in oil sands operations.

DNB comes in at number two on the list, with a 2.8 billion investment, while Danske Bank has invested 2.2 billion, reported Dagsavisen newspaper.

‘It is reprehensible that Norwegian banks still invest in this extremely environmentally hostile activity’, said political advisor, Anne-Kari Garberg, of FIOH.

DNB has reduced investments in oil sands after the financial group sold its shares in Chevron. Nordea is concerned with so-called ‘active ownership’.

‘Nordea Asset Management does not exclude companies involved in oil sands in Canada.

We believe active ownership is an important and responsible tool that can be used to control the oil sands operations in a more sustainable direction’, said Catherine Hammar, head of ‘responsible investment’ in the bank.

Oil sands, or as they are sometimes called, tar sands, are ‘bituminous sand, a mixture of sand, clay, water and an extremely viscous form of petroleum
called bitumen…a noxious combination of sulphur, nitrogen, salts, carcinogens, heavy metals and other toxins.

A handful of bituminous sand is the
hydrocarbon equivalent of a snowball: each grain of sand is covered by a thin layer of water, all of which is enveloped in the very viscous, tar-like bitumen.

In its natural state, it has the consistency of a hockey puck,’ writes Alternative Journal, Canada’s environmental magazine.

 

 

Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today

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