Norwegian renewable energy fund invests millions in Chinese companies suspected of forced labor

Workers constructing one of the windmills in the Xinjiang provins that are being operated by the Goldwind company

Many Norwegians have been putting their savings into so-called “green” funds which invest in renewable energy sources. One of the most hyped funds is the Storebrand company’s Fornybar Energi-fund. A new investigation made by the Tech Transparency Project suggests that three major Fornybar investments has been put into Chinese companies suspected of using forced labor, NRK writes.

The three companies are Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology, JinkoSolar Holding and Daqo New Energy Corp. In total 370 million Norwegian kroner has been invested into these companies. This sum counts for 12,42 percent of Fornybar Energi-fond’s total investments.

Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology is Chinas biggest producer of windmills and an economic success with its stock almost doubling compared to last year. It seems however that this success has been build on forced labor in which the Chinese company – that allegedly has close ties to the Chinese Communist Party – has been receiving “work transfers” a nickname for the deployment of involuntary Uyghur Muslims into Chinese enterprises.

A report by the European-Parliament has showed that it is very difficult for the Uyghur Muslims to refuse these “transfers” since they risk being jailed for it.

The forced labor also entails reeducating the Uyghurs, teaching them loyalty to China and the Communist party. According to the media Buzzfeed, the founder of Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology, Wu Gang, have been personally involved in overseeing this reeducation.

JinkoSolar Holding and Daqo New Energy Corp – which are both in the solar power industry – have also been linked to work transfers.

Storebrand’s reaction.

Storebrand has in an email to the Norwegian media NRK stated that they didn’t have any knowledge of these companies engaging in forced labor.

“Our analysis which is based on information from our data suppliers has not indicated any of the things that are being claimed in these allegations. Therefore we are now taking a closer look at these three companies and we are in contact with our data suppliers” Investment Director in Store Brand, Bård Bringedal, writes in an email to NRK.

Storerbrand emphasizes that they do extensive screening of all the companies they invest in to exclude those which are using forced labor.

The three Chinese companies and China itself are denying all claims of forced labor or any other forms of abuse of the Uyghur Minority.

About Lasse Sandholdt

ScandAsia Journalist • Scandinavian Publishing Co., Ltd. • Bangkok, Thailand

View all posts by Lasse Sandholdt

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