The Nobel Foundation which funds and organizes the Nobel Prizes announced it was selling all of its assets in the petroleum industry, following on similar actions regarding coal, and other contaminating industries.
We are selling all our shares in the oil sector this year, said in Stockholm,Vidar Helgesen the newly appointed director general of the Nobel Foundation adding it was important for Nobel winners to know where the funds that finance the prizes come from.
The Foundation has been criticized for having assets in the contaminating energy sectors, the arms industry and even cigarette companies.
According to Helgesen, a former Environment minister with the Norwegian government, the Foundation sold some US$ 40 million it had invested in an oil fund.
The ex minister explained that since the Foundation is not an active investor, but rather depends on funds' managers for the investments, anyhow it has strict rules regarding what kind of financing must be avoided.
Helgesen revealed that as a consequence of this code of action, the Foundation also sold its participations in the coal industry. Since many of our prizes relate to science it is only natural to trust in science when it comes to climate change and sustainability.
In effect the Swedish media for some time has been pointing out that since the Foundation awards prizes to those who benefit humanity, it was highly questionable that is should be linked, even indirectly, to certain industries, such as non renewable energy, arms and tobacco.