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Norway opposition wants a more political oil fund: "Until now we haven’t dared to say it -- it’s obvious that NOK 10,000bn is politics"

The leader of Norway’s biggest opposition party wants his country to start treating its USD 1trn wealth fund as a political tool, setting the stage for a more activist role for the giant investor.

Norway's Labour Party leader Jonas Gahr Store gestures at the election gathering of AP (Norway's Labour Party) in Oslo, | Photo: Ntb Scanpix/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix/REUTERS / X02351

The comments by Labor Party leader Jonas Gahr Store mark a change in rhetoric for Norway’s biggest political group  and go against the consensus among the largest parliamentary parties.

Labor’s next stab at returning to government will come in 2021, when the country is due to hold elections. If the opposition wins, Labor’s shift in stance could change the way in which the world’s biggest wealth fund operates.

Past years have already been marked by numerous initiatives from lawmakers, and the fund itself has been viewed as increasingly activist as it speaks out on excessive executive pay, human rights abuses and climate change.

“I think we can start getting used to saying that our pension fund is a political tool,” Store said on Wednesday during a panel debate with Prime Minister Erna Solberg, at the Zero Conference in Oslo.

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