Applauding the exclusion of Eletrobras from Norwegian oil fund
Foto: Amazon Watch-Maíra Irigaray
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14 May 2020
The Council on Ethics, which governs the world's largest sovereign wealth fund, recommended the exclusion due to the participation of the Brazilian state-owned company in the Belo Monte hydroelectric project, which is associated with serious human rights violations against indigenous peoples.
On May 13, the Norwegian oil fund, considered the world's largest sovereign wealth fund, excluded twelve companies from its investment portfolio for ethical reasons, including Brazil's Eletrobras for its participation in the Belo Monte hydroelectric project.
The fund is managed by the public bank Norges Bank Investment Management, which follows the recommendations made each year by the Ethics Council to ensure that investments meet certain criteria.
The Council noted that the Belo Monte project, run by the Norte Energia consortium - of which Eletrobras is a part - caused "greater pressure on indigenous lands, the disintegration of the social structures of indigenous peoples and the deterioration of their ways of life" with the forced displacement of some 20,000 people.
AIDA - as part of a joint civil society effort - informed the Council of the situation of the indigenous and riverine populations affected by the project, its social and environmental impacts, the operational situation of the dam, and the current status of national and international legal actions brought against the project.
We believe the Council's decision should be applauded because it discourages the continuation of unsustainable and ill-named development projects that threaten the survival of indigenous and traditional peoples, as is the case with Belo Monte.
It is essential that banks, international financial institutions and monetary funds take into account the likely impacts of the projects they finance. Supporting socially and environmentally sustainable projects instead of initiatives that prioritize economic benefit over the protection of human rights and the environment demonstrates responsible and ethical investment.