A couple years ago there began a movement for investors to divest from coal and other fossil fuels similar to the movement 40 years ago to divest from South Africa stocks and products to protest apartheid.  I will admit that initially I didn’t think much of this effort as I didn’t believe it would gain any traction or have any impact on battling climate change.  And while I nevertheless have been divesting my own investments of any fossil fuel for about a decade now I now readily admit I was mistaken.  

This initiative has legs and is really gaining momentum and taking on a life of its own.  At the end of this message I will provide you with a link to a website where you can take the pledge to divest yourself personally or for your institution’s investments.  The known commitments are now up to $50 BILLION.  And when Stanford University pledges to divest of coal investments one has to consider that this is something real.  

The following article will fill you in even more on what could be a major market mover as more and more institutions and individuals realize that not only is not earning money and supporting industries that are tearing apart the natural world that supports all life and civilization a moral issue but that it is also increasingly a bad economic decision.

Read on…

In Historic Shift, Rockefeller Fund Pledges to Divest from Fossil Fuels

Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter

Published: Monday, September 22, 2014

The movement to divest from fossil fuels has picked up a significant and historically unlikely convert: the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

The $860 million philanthropic fund, which draws its capital from John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil fortune, announced this morning that it would gradually shift its assets away from oil, gas and coal and toward other interests that are more aligned with its concern about climate change.

The family fund will start by immediately divesting from coal and oil sands development in the final months of 2014, noting that these industries are among the most carbon-intensive.
“We are working to eliminate the Fund’s exposure to these energy sources as quickly as possible,” the fund said in a statement on its website.
It does acknowledge that a fraction of 1 percent of its portfolio might remain invested in those industries due to “some commingled investment funds and investments in highly diversified energy companies.”
The fund will simultaneously look for ways to drop its other fossil fuels investments, it said.
The announcement comes as businesses and private foundations line up to offer new commitments ahead of the U.N. leadership forum on climate change in New York City. The event will draw President Obama and 120 other heads of state to begin laying the groundwork for a new agreement on emissions by the end of next year.
But while it remains unclear what new national pledges that world leaders will bring with them to the Big Apple, private-sector advocates are working to make “Climate Week” a turning point in the global effort on warming — beginning with a massive climate march in Manhattan yesterday and continuing with announcements like the one by RBF.
Organizers say 50,000 students were among the more than 300,000 participants in yesterday’s march. Many made divestment from fossil fuels by college endowments a major rallying cry.
“We will use our financial power to make colleges and universities divest from fossil fuels,” Maura Cowley, director of the youth-led Energy Action Coalition, said in a statement before the march. “And we will use our bodies and risk arrest to stop business as usual for fossil fuel profiteers on Wall Street.”
Advocates from a variety of faith traditions including Archbishop Desmond Tutu also used the gathering as a platform to call for congregations to divest from fossil fuels. In a statement released before the summit, a group of theologians organized by Divest & Reinvest Now! implored religious communities to shift their assets away from carbon-intensive industries.
“Our religious traditions share values regarding the ethical use of financial resources,” said representatives from Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu and other traditions. “When an industry continually, over years, causes massive harm while intractably resisting calls for change, faith communities have moved beyond education, engagement and advocacy to divestment.”
But a few fossil fuels companies and other industry groups are planning announcements of their own this week aimed at limiting their output of greenhouse gas emissions, especially when it comes to pollutants like methane and hydrofluorocarbons, which are much more climate-forcing in the short term than carbon dioxide.
The Climate and Clean Air Coalition, an international public-private partnership to limit short-lived climate pollutants, will make an announcement tomorrow that includes industry commitments on methane. The six oil and natural gas companies that will participate in the coalition’s new voluntary initiative will agree to track and manage leakage throughout their operations, develop implementation plans and share information on leakage with the coalition. CCAC declined to say which companies would participate, but The Washington Post reported today that Southwestern Energy Co. would be among them.
The U.S. coolants industry is also planning to release new global commitments this week against the backdrop of the summit, following up on a White House announcement last week of new steps the federal government and industry will take to limit production and use of heat-trapping HFCs (Greenwire, Sept. 16).
Twitter: @chemnipot | Email: jchemnick@eenews.net

Here’s the link to the Divest Website:  http://divestinvest.org

Leave a comment

FranklyTalking © 2024 All rights reserved.