November 3, 2014

Ban Ki-moon urges pension funds to reduce investments in fossil fuels

Copenhagen, Denmark — At a press conference in Copenhagen yesterday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged big investors such as pension funds and insurance companies to reduce their investments in fossil fuels and invest in renewable energy instead.

“I have been urging companies like pension funds or insurance companies to reduce their investments in a fossil-fuel based economy [and shift] to renewable sources of energy,” said Ban Ki-Moon. [1] He joins a growing list of distinguished high-level figures calling for fossil fuel divestment such as UN climate chief Christiana Figueres, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and US President Barack Obama.

Ki-moon made his comments during the presentation of the latest summary of climate science in the form of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) fifth assessment report. The report strengthens the case for fossil fuel divestment by stating that “substantial reductions in emissions would require large changes in investment patterns”.

May Boeve, Executive Director of the global climate campaign commented, “The report strengthens the case for fossil fuel divestment. It clearly states that the vast majority of coal, oil and gas must remain underground and that investments in the sector must fall by tens of billions of dollars a year. The fossil fuel industry’s business plan and a liveable planet are simply incompatible.”

Ban Ki-moon’s endorsement is the latest sign of growing momentum for the fossil fuel divestment movement. Fossil fuel divestment campaigns at more than 500 institutions around the world ask local authorities, universities, pension funds, religious and medical institutions to drop their investments in coal, oil and gas companies.



[1] Recording press conference (at 33 min)