Divestment Goes Mainstream as Major Funds Kick the Fossil Fuel Habit
With a shift of nearly two billion dollars away from fossil fuels, the divestment campaign has moved into new territory.
The newly formed Divest-Invest coalition urges other organizations to take an ethical stand and voice their concern for communities most vulnerable to climate change and the future of the global economy.
The announcement is seen as a signal that the divestment movement is no longer limited to progressive cities and college campuses.
Now, a wide range of some of the world’s largest foundations including the Park Foundation, Russell Family Foundation, Educational Foundation of America and John Merck Fund are taking a stand for the climate by aligning their investments with the values of their charitable missions.
This announcement is the latest in a week of news signalling that the divestment movement is going mainstream.
Speaking at this year’s World Economic Forum, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim used his high-profile platform at the World Economic Forum to endorse fossil fuel divestment.
Norway’s $815 billion sovereign wealth fund—the World’s largest—has already halved its exposure to coal producers, while a proposal to further prohibit it investing in coal companies wins support by the country’s minority parties.
Meanwhile Norwegian pension fund and insurance firm Storebrand announced last week that it too would be divesting from another 10 fossil fuels companies—having announced it had divested from 19 dirty fuel companies last year.
The firm said it aimed to reduce its exposure to the fossil fuel industry in a bid to ensure long-term stable profits.
To date, 22 cities, two counties, 20 religious organizations, nine colleges and universities and six other institutions have signed up to rid themselves of investments in fossil fuel companies.
In addition to these divestment announcements, many major banks and financial institutions have limited or halted their lending to coal projects, arguably the dirtiest of the fossil fuels.
Three of the world’s biggest public financial institutions, the European Investment Bank, World Bank, and European Reconstruction and Development Bank have committed to restrict their support for coal projects in favor of clean energy and energy efficiency.
It’s wrong to profit from wrecking the climate—and it looks bad, too.
A recent study by Oxford University found that the divestment campaign has triggered an uptick in negative perceptions of fossil fuel companies.
Fund managers who choose to continue investing in dirty energy must now face the realization that these investments could contaminate their organization’s brand and undermine its image.
Visit EcoWatch’s ENERGY page for more related news on this topic.
By Stacy Malkan
Neil deGrasse Tyson has inspired millions of people to care about science and imagine themselves as participants in the scientific process. What a hopeful sign it is to see young girls wearing t-shirts emblazoned with the words, "Forget princess, I want to be an astrophysicist."
As Trevor Noah noted during The Daily Show episode last night (starts at 2:25), the real reason Trump has these rallies is to "get back in front of his loyal crowds and feed of their energy." Noah believes that "Trump supporters are so on board with their dude he can say anything and they'll come along for the ride."
By Katie O'Reilly
Two years ago—long before coal became one of the most dominant and controversial symbols of the 2016 presidential election—Bloomberg Philanthropies approached production company RadicalMedia with the idea of creating a documentary exploring the U.S. coal mining industry. Last spring, they brought on Emmy-nominated director Michael Bonfiglio, tasked with forging a compelling story out of the multitudes of facts, statistics and narratives underlying the declining industry.
The Sierra Club released a new analysis Friday that found that transitioning all 1,400+ U.S. Conference of Mayors member-cities to 100 percent clean and renewable electricity will significantly reduce electric sector carbon pollution nationwide and help the U.S. towards meeting the goals of the Paris climate agreement.
Watch above as Newsy explains that the decision comes despite serious concerns from the environmental and scientific community, and Tribal Nations about a declining, isolated grizzly bear population with diminishing food resources and record-high mortalities.
By Francine Kershaw
Seismic airguns exploding in the ocean in search for oil and gas have devastating impacts on zooplankton, which are critical food sources for marine mammals, according to a new study in Nature. The blasting decimates one of the ocean's most vital groups of organisms over huge areas and may disrupt entire ecosystems.
And this devastating news comes on the heels of the National Marine Fisheries Service's proposal to authorize more than 90,000 miles of active seismic blasting. Based on the results of this study, the affected area would be approximately 135,000 square miles.
By Jill Richardson
Is coconut oil:
- good for you
- bad for you
- neither good nor bad
- scientists don't know
The subject of this question is the source of a disagreement. Initially, the question was thought to be settled decades ago, when scientist Ancel Keys declared all saturated fats unhealthy. Coconut oil, which is solid at room temperature, is a saturated fat.