Varcoe: Southern slams ‘hypocritical’ move by Norway’s wealth fund to drop oilsands

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ATCO Ltd. chief executive Nancy Southern devoted part of her opening address at the company’s annual meeting Wednesday to deliver a passionate defence of Canada’s energy sector.

And after the event, she didn’t hold back on speaking out against a decision by Norway’s sovereign wealth fund to ditch its investments in four Canadian oilsands producers over climate concerns.

“I believe it is short-sighted,” Southern said in an interview.

“I just see a piling on, whether it is the credit rating agencies, whether it’s government leaders, whether it is universities jumping on to this bandwagon. And I think it is time for people to stand up and demonstrate true moral leadership about the fact that the world is better because of petroleum products.”

On Wednesday, Norges Bank Investment Management issued a statement saying it decided to exclude seven companies from being held in the wealth fund, including Suncor Energy, Canadian Natural Resources, Cenovus Energy and Imperial Oil.