Divestment is the reverse of investment. It is an economic tool to take action against the unethical structures of the world targeting the only concern of the superstructure - the economy, investment and profit making.
Fossil fuel divestment adversifies the fossil fuel industry for its culpability in the climate crisis. On average, UK local authorities have invested £218 in fossil fuels for every single resident. Investments that directly enable companies to drill in the Arctic, expand tar sands and open new coal mines, destroying the climate and fuelling repression and violence worldwide. We may think, as citizens sat on the outside of the board rooms, that we can do nothing to change the evils of the world. But within this capacity this - we really can.
The best thing about divestment is that it has worked in the past. The revolution against the tobacco industry, the overturning of the South African government and it's abhorrent Apartheid. Divestment works by financially denting multi-billion dollar industries that perpetrate social and environmental injustive, Divestment talso provides a hugely powerful, unignorable, undeniable message.
And the fossil fuel divestment movement is growing. A coalition of over 2,000 high-net worth individuals and 400 institutions are shifting assets from coal, oil and gas companies to make a point of revealing these investments for the destructive dangers they are.
The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, an organisation whose fortune is founded in the finding and extraction of oil since the 1870s, is one of the greatest symbols of this divestment community.
350.org, a not-for-profit whose name is demonstrative of the safe amount of carbon particles per million we can withstand in our atmosphere (we now have 400 parts per million). 305.org is leading the divestment movement with a huge coallition of global organisations in cluding Friends fo the Earth. From Councils to Universities, see who's committing here
By September 2014, 181 institutions globally and 656 individuals had committed to divest over $50 billion. Then, by September 2015: 436 institutions and 2,040 individuals across 43 countries and representing $2.6 trillion in assets have committed to divest from fossil fuel companies. Today, we're looking at £3.4 trillion of divestment.
Globally,forward-thinking, longer-term investors, mainly pension and sovereign funds, are already very concerned and taking action. On May 27 in 2015 Norway for example, sold $990 million of investments in SSE eenrgy and Drax Coal Station in the UK, the biggest sovereign fund divestment in history, as it saw the financial folly of fossil fuel investments.
These fossil fuel companies are receiving a clear message that they cannot continue to pollute the planet and put us on a path of destruction for free.
The oppositions on either side of the argument range from short-term, financially beneficial decisions for an orgnisation's shareholders and the threat of stranded assets by a burst carbon bubble where money tied up in oil and coal reserves becomes completely valueless as we transist towards a low carbon economy.
For nothing more than money in their pockets, fossil fuel companies are looking to burn 5times more carbon than the Earth's atmosphere can physically handle. Although they make some small investments in renewable energies, the profits compared with the climate commitments they make is miniscule.
With 5 of the 10 largest corporations in the the world working on energy and extracting fossil fuels, making hundreds of billions in income - they could easily change the fate of our increasingly polluted planet. These companies' business models and economic interests do not align with ireefutable, if these huge stores of fossil fuels are burned, it all goes horribly wrong. So, shareholders really have no decision to make:
Divesting from fossil fuels and investing in the clean economy of renewable energy will provide an economically lucrative future for everyone.
beyond the inasne immorality, fossil fuel investments make disasterous economic sense...
WHAT CAN WE DO
By publicicisng this industry’s singularly destructive influence — and by highlighting the moral dimensions of climate change — we can help break the hold that the fossil fuel industry has on our economy and our governments. Our job is to:
Communicate the problem. Be informed. Talk about it constantly, to each other and on Social Media.
Join your local countil movement. Click the bar below to find your local.
Begin your own local group with 350 Council Divestment Guide
Follow your the Guardian & 350.org's Keep it in the Groud Campaign (scroll down for form)
Divest your own money! Support co-operatives, smaller local banks and ethical savings accounts.
Check out the Banking page for ways to set up a more salubrious current or savings account.