Global News Journal

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Fighter jet deal strains Norway’s ethics drive


Norway sees itself as a champion of ethical investment, applying pressure on corporations in worthy causes ranging from production of indiscriminately lethal weapons to ending child labour and increasing environmental responsibility.

If companies fail to meet its strict standards, they are blacklisted from Norway’s $300 billion oil fund. So far 27 firms have been banned from what many admirers call the most transparent sovereign wealth fund in the world.

Norway is rightly proud of its efforts to make companies more accountable to broad-based guidelines defined in documents on ethics and corporate governance from the United Nations and the OECD club of the world’s most developed countries.

But its decision to pick Lockheed Martin — a company the oil fund had blacklisted in 2005 — to supply 48 fighter jets in Norway’s biggest ever military contract shows the limits of its ethics drive.