Divestment reaches large investors

Money growing on treesAccording to the New York Times and Reuters, more than a dozen large foundations representing more than $2 billion  (around 1.48 billion euros) in assets will stop investing in fossil fuels, just as the World Bank and the United Nations advise.

To Reuters : The Divest-Invest Philanthropy coalition includes foundations, such as the Park Foundation, the John Merck Fund and the Schmidt Family Foundation – co-founded by Google Inc Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt – in the United States “

These foundations believe that the carbon bubble presents both financial and ethical risks and urge others to follow their lead in divesting from unburnable carbon.

Meanwhile,on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, The Ecologist reports that  ” Scandinavia’s largest pension company, Storebrand, has announced that it will no longer invest in ‘climate villain’ companies. ” 

These climate villains entail not only fossil fuels companies but also ones that are in the tar sands and palm oil sectors. As it is noted in the article :

The Norwegian company has so far excluded a total of 176 companies  from their investments based on ethical criteria, including 40 in the coal, tar sands and palm oil industries.

In total 46 companies are excluded based on “environmental degradation” and 44 on “unsustainability”.

 

Money a roll of billsDivestment campaigns are growing in the United States, from college campuses to religious groups. Articles from USA Today, The Guardian or The Washington Post will convince you of that.

It looks like fossil fuels companies are bound to lose their financial backers one by one if these trends are due to continue, especially as investors are awakening to the climate threat.

By Edouard

Edouard is a sustainability and energy professional committed to bringing our societies to a carbon neutral future. He has been writing on related topics on this very blog since 2007.

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