The Case for Fossil Fuel Divestment

2015

If it is wrong to wreck the climate, then it is wrong to profit from that wreckage. We believe that educational and religious institutions, governments, and other organisations that serve the public good should divest from fossil fuels.

We are asking institutions to:

  • Immediately freeze any new investment in fossil fuel companies;
  • Divest from direct ownership and any commingled funds that include fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds within 5 years

There is a mounting global campaign to promote fossil fuel divestment from pension and other investment funds. Glasgow and Stanford Universities are among a growing number of educational institutions leading the way on the issue.

Divestment is the opposite of an investment – it simply means taking money out of pension and other investment funds that are unethical or morally ambiguous. Universities, religious organisations, retirement funds, and other institutions put billions in these same kinds of funds to generate income for their running costs. However, fossil fuel investments are a risk for both investors and the planet, so we’re calling on institutions to divest from these companies.

Fossil fuel divestment takes the fossil fuel industry to task for its culpability in the climate crisis. By naming this industry’s singularly destructive influence — and by highlighting the moral dimensions of climate change — we hope that the fossil fuel divestment movement can help break the hold that the fossil fuel industry has on our economy and our governments.

You can have an impact by simply writing to your pension or investment fund manager asking them to clarify whether your funds are directly linked to fossil fuel interests. If so, you can ask them to identify alternative, ethically sound investment funds. The more institutions and individuals that take up this challenge, the greater the driving force for change there will be, bringing us one step closer to a sustainable, livable planet for our children and grandchildren.