Norway is considering excluding foreign oil and coal companies from its $860 billion sovereign wealth fund, which manages profits from the country's own fossil fuel industry.

Finance Minister Siv Jensen said Friday she's appointing a panel to assess the question on environmental grounds. It will report back to the government in November.

The move highlights Norway's ambition to be a leader in global efforts to fight climate change while continuing to hunt for oil and gas in its waters.

Jensen also proposed scrapping an ethics council which decides which companies should be excluded from the oil fund on ethical grounds. She suggested Norway's central bank take over that responsibility.

Under the current mandate, fund managers are barred from investing in companies that produce tobacco and weapons or breach human rights.