Siemens Gamesa, Siemens Energy and Enel Spa have been excluded by Norwegian asset manager Storebrand for contributing to violations of international law in occupied Western Sahara.

This week, the Norwegian asset manager Storebrand published its list of excluded companies as of end of 2020. Three companies are added to the list due to their operations on occupied land: Spanish company Siemens Gamesa, German company Siemens Energy AG and Italian company Enel SpA.

“Climate projects are fundamentally important, but such investments should clearly not be made at the expense of human rights or international law”, Erik Hagen of Western Sahara Resource Watch told the news service Responsible Investor today, adding that WSRW commends Storebrand for a “good and principled decision”.

All three companies were excluded for operating on occupied land in Western Sahara. The three have not obtained permission from the Saharawi people to operate there, but conduct operations on agreements with the neighbouring country of Morocco, which illegally occupies the territory. The recent addition of the three companies can be seen by comparing the overviews of Storebrand’s excluded companies from Q3 to Q4 of 2020.

The exclusion comes as a result of Storebrand’s policy on on not wanting to offer its clients investments that contribute to violate international law in occupied Palestinian territories and occupied Western Sahara.

“We have engaged with the companies but found that they have not carried out comprehensive human rights due diligence of the projects and their business partners in Morocco occupied Western Sahara”, Tulia Machado-Helland, Head of Human Rights at Storebrand Asset Management, told Responsible Investor.

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“The companies are involved in wind farms projects in occupied Western Sahara partnering with Moroccan authorities and private sector and neither the companies nor their partners have consulted and obtained the consent of the Saharawis as required by international law. The companies intend to continue with these projects. Storebrand cannot via its investment contribute to a situation that can legitimize is in violation of international law”, Machado-Helland told.

Siemens Gamesa, Siemens Energy and Enel Spa have been excluded by Norwegian asset manager Storebrand for contributing to violations of international law in occupied Western Sahara.

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