As Reuters reported, Norway’s Oil Fund sold its stake in four firms because they scrap on beach. Three of the firms excluded by Norway’s fund - Taiwan’s Evergreen Marine, Precious Shipping and Thoresen Thai Agencies (TTA) of Thailand - say they have been unfairly singled out, while the Norwegian life insurer KLP also dold its shares in the one of the four it owned and blacklisted another three.
Moreover, three major pensions funds - Caisse de Depot, CCP and OMERS - are reviewing their investments in shipping over ethical and green considerations.
These development are part of the European Union's pressure to measure up to standards for inclusion on the EU’s list of approved ship-breaking yards, which will be updated later in 2018. Currently, the vast majority of ageing commercial ships are scrapped in Bangladesh, Pakistan and India. However, industry leaders in South Asia say they cannot afford to upgrade their sites and remain competitive at the same time. These yards employ thousands of people, of whom many are killed each year, the campaigners add.
What is more, many times workers cut up ships with their own hands and blowtorches, with parts and pollutants dropping directly onto the sand. For this reason, a spokesman for ABN AMRO said that if clients don't comply with the bank’s sustainability policies, there would be “a phase of engagement”.
Furthermore, in beaching, ships are run to ground in inter-tidal areas that would normally be full of sea life. Oil, paint and slag are washed out to sea with the tide, environmental and rights campaigners warn, along with other toxic materials.
Government officials and shipowners say now that shipbreaking conditions have improved significantly in recent years. However, the scrapping methods are still being questioned, Reuters add.
Specifically, Taiwan’s Evergreen said that despite the fact it demanded that vessels are broken up at certified green recycling shipyards, and that it complied with all international rules and regulations, it still got excluded by the Norwegian fund.