It’s simple. We need to keep fossil fuels in the ground to avert a climate crisis. If it’s wrong to wreck the climate, it’s wrong to profit from that wreckage.

Fossil Free is a growing international divestment movement calling for organisations, institutions and individuals to demonstrate moral leadership and end their break their ties with the fossil fuel industry.

Divestment is simply the opposite of investment – it means getting rid of stocks, bonds or investment funds that are unethical.

The aim of the divestment campaign is to weaken the political influence of the fossil fuel industry, which keeps holding back action on climate change. Every time an institution publicly breaks its ties with fossil fuel companies, we chip away at their power to carry out their immoral business plans.

The Fossil Free campaign wants institutions and individuals to immediately freeze any new investment in fossil fuel companies, and divest from direct ownership and any commingled funds that include fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds within 5 years. 200 publicly-traded companies hold the vast majority of listed coal, oil and gas reserves. Those are the companies we’re asking our institutions to divest from.

The first Fossil Free campaigns in Europe kicked off in autumn 2013. Since then, over 250 campaigns are underway in the UK, Germany, France, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, Finland and other countries.

In the UK, there are divestment campaigns targeting universities, local councils, churches and faith groups, health organisations, charities, pension funds, banks and more. Find your local campaign here.

Anyone anywhere can join or start their own Fossil Free campaign – find out more about how we work.

To date almost 700 institutions across the globe representing funds worth over $5 trillion have made some form of divestment commitment. They include universities, faith and medical institutions, cities such as Seattle, Melbourne and Berlin, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, heirs to the Rockefeller oil fortune, as well as big financial players such as Norway’s sovereign wealth fund.

The capital cities of France, Germany, Norway, Sweden and Denmark have all pledged publicly to stop investing in fossil fuels. Over a quarter of universities in the UK have committed to divest. There are over 160 divestment commitments from Europe so far.

View the full global list of divestment commitments here.

More FAQs here

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