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World's biggest wealth fund excludes 15 more coal companies

The world's largest wealth fund announced Dec. 21 that it has excluded 15 coal-related companies from its portfolio as it moves toward a goal of fully divesting from coal.

The Norges Bank, which manages Norway's $900 billion sovereign wealth fund, added Alliant Energy Corp., Empire District Electric Co., Great Plains Energy Inc. and NRG Energy Inc., among others, to its exclusions list, which now totals 59 companies.

Another 11 energy producers were put on observation, and the fund said further exclusions will follow in 2017.

Norway's parliament voted in 2015 to stop investing in coal power generators and mining companies that derive more than 30% of their revenues from coal or that have more than 30% of their business activities related to coal.

The Government Pension Fund Global, as the fund is known, held significant investments in U.S. utilities that burn coal to generate electricity. At the time of parliament's decision, The Guardian said more than $8 billion of coal-related investments could be sold.

Bloomberg reported that the market value of the investments in the 15 companies and 30 subsidiaries named on Dec. 21 represents about $807 million.

The global fossil fuel divestment movement has doubled over the past 15 months, with the value of assets held by divesting institutions and individuals now exceeding $5 trillion, according to a recent report from Arabella Advisors.