Norwegians on the right path to oil sands withdrawal
Increased shareholder support for Statoil’s withdrawal from its Canadian oil sands project at yesterday’s AGM in Stavanger has been well-received by environmentalists. A Canadian Indian chief is pleased Norwegians’ awareness is increasing.
2.14 percent voted in favour of the greens’ proposal, an increase of almost 0.9 percent on last year. A delighted Greenpeace leader, Truls Gulowsen, said, “50 million shares voted for it. That’s almost twice as many as last year 15 million shares also abstained from voting. Soon, it will just be the state that is left [being for the oil sands].”
The Norwegian state owns 67 percent of the shares in Statoil, and refuses to get its hands dirty by interfering. The Government has stated that it does not engage in corporate governance.
Mr Gulowsen declared that the share value of those who supported Greenpeace and the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) is equivalent to 7.6 billion kroner.
“In addition, those who took an active choice to abstain on voting makes it another 2.2 billion. It is obvious that major and very professional actors agree with us. Greenpeace is very pleased that so many more private shareholders [than last year] voted in favour of their proposal. [Norwegian Prime Minister] Jens Stoltenberg should also take this seriously,” stated Mr Gulowsen.
Before the meeting, Canadian Indian chief François Paulette said things have changed since he addressed Statoil’s AGM two years ago.
“There seems to be far more awareness amongst the Norwegian people about what the oil sands extraction means, how it affects indigenous peoples, the environment and water access,” he told Aftenbladet.
He lifted his index finger whilst speaking from the podium, urging shareholders to take a global and international leadership role; about doing something that would stir the hearts of the people who live in Canada.
“Be kind and reconsider what you are doing with the oil sands,” concluded Chief Paulette.
The EU demands a renewables boom. Environmentalists are concerned.
* Major licence granted off the western coast. * Statoil already has onshore and offshore operations in the country.