It’s been less than 7 years since the idea of fossil fuel divestment first took hold. It’s now a rapidly-growing global movement that has transformed the narrative around keeping fossil fuels in the ground and persuaded over 850 institutions and thousands of individuals worth over $6 trillion to publicly break their ties with the fossil fuel industry.
If last December was big in the divestment world with NYC divestment commitment, this month the movement didn’t bother catching a breath. Nope — the movement is growing bigger, bolder, and marching ahead in full steam In the last month alone there were more than 15 new commitments that worth more than $50B. To get some perspective right: from the launch of the campaign in 2012 until the beginning of 2015 (3 years) we had the same amount of assets divestment as we had now in one month!!! This is the largest number of commitments in such a short time since Paris 2015.
What started in 2012 with a few groups of students, calling their institutions to divest from fossil fuel become a mainstream concept that adapted by pension funds and large insurance companies. An Oxford University research called the effort the fastest growing divestment campaign in history, one that could have a “far reaching impact” on the industry’s bottom line.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again — fossil fuels are on their way out, and the industry knows it. Large financial actors are coming to recognize it too. So what the heck is everyone else waiting for? It’s time to divest.
Here are a few victories from the past month: (to see the full list goto: https://gofossilfree.org/divestment/commitments/)
City of Oldenburg – “Oldenburg City Council decides to adhere to sustainable minimum standards for all capital investments of the city and its foundations. Thereafter, direct participation in companies that rely on unsustainable and climate-damaging energies are excluded”
Durham University – Professor David Cowling, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Arts and Humanities) at Durham University – “Durham is a world top 100 university, a research partner of international standing and a significant employer in North East England. We are committed not only to divestment, but to becoming a major partner in the future development of green energy.”
Cardiff University – Chair of Council, Professor Stuart Palmer, said “The move to full divestment aligns the University’s investment decisions with our values and aims, and reaffirms our commitment to environmental sustainability, responsible investment and social responsibility.”
MP Pension fund – ““When we aim to follow the Paris agreement’s recommendations for a better climate on the planet, we must also live it. And we have analyzed ourselves that our decision in the long term will benefit the overall return, “says Jens Munch Holst.”