Norwegian organisation Framtiden i våre hender revealed that the Nobel Foundation has investments in nuclear weapons firms just as ICAN – the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons – were awarded the Peace Prize. That also put the spotlight on fossil fuel investments. But the Foundation had a short answer – they don’t pick and choose individual companies. But that turned out to be wrong.
A few weeks later the Foundation, through Olav Njølstad of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, both admitted to the nuclear weapon investments – and promised that they will be gone in a year. This will be done through the new ethical guidelines, that are not publicly accessible but are said to address climate concerns as well.
Investments in nuclear weapons and fossil fuels not only violate Alfred Nobel’s last will – where the prize is to be used for the greater good of mankind – but also threaten life on earth as we know it.
The Divest Nobel campaign will continue to put pressure on the Foundation. Just as nuclear weapons investments are inconsistent to giving the Peace Prize to ICAN, fossil fuel investment and inconsistent with the Peace Prize to Al Gore and the IPCC in 2007.
This week yet another Nobel Laureate joined the call on the Nobel Foundation to divest. Joachim Frank (Chemistry Prize winner 2017) is the 20th laureate to sign the open letter, and his support is a welcome boost to our campaign as we are approaching Nobel Day on December 10th.
Our campaign is targeting the Nobel Foundation not because they are a major financial player – they are not – but because of the global respectability that they enjoy. To put concrete climate action on top of the agenda, we need these important institutions. When they divest from fossil fuels, the politicians will not have any excuses left to not act immediately.