reduction of some kind of asset for financial, ethical, or political objectives or sale of an existing business by a firm

In finance and economics, divestment or divestiture is the reduction of some kind of asset for financial, ethical, or political objectives or sale of an existing business by a firm. A divestment is the opposite of an investment.

Growth of Fossil fuel divestment, 2011-2019: approximate cumulative number of institutions committed to some form of divestment and approximate cumulative assets represented by these institutions.
Divestment campaigns urge banks, local councils, churches, pension funds and universities to withdraw investments from all Israeli companies and from international companies involved in violating Palestinian rights... ~ Marjorie Cohn
No Justice No Peace



  • Divestment campaigns urge banks, local councils, churches, pension funds and universities to withdraw investments from all Israeli companies and from international companies involved in violating Palestinian rights... BDS initiatives have been passed by more than 50 councils in Spain and by dozens of other councils in the U.K., Australia, Sweden, Norway and Ireland. U.S. churches, including the Presbyterian Church USA, the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church (UMC), and several Quaker bodies have voted to divest from Israeli and international companies targeted by the BDS movement. Academic associations in the U.S., Canada, Ireland, South Africa and the U.K. have voted to support BDS. More than 30 U.S. student associations and 11 Canadian student associations have voted to support divestment from Israeli apartheid... The E.U. has introduced rules prohibiting funding of Israeli companies and bodies based in illegal Israeli settlements and has warned businesses about the risks of doing business with illegal Israeli settlements.


  • In recent budget negotiations, Senate Democrats agreed to a boost in military spending that exceeded the cap for fiscal 2018 by $70 billion, bringing the total request to an enormous $716 billion... more Pentagon contracts will be awarded to private corporations that use endless war to line their pockets... If neither major political party will stand up to this status quo, what can be done? One answer might be found in the recent push to divest from fossil fuel companies undertaken by, among others, Norway and New York City. By December of 2016, 688 institutions, representing over $5 trillion in assets, had divested from fossil fuels... Author Naomi Klein described the fossil fuel divestment effort as “a process of delegitimizing” the sector and of affirming that it yields “odious profits.”
    An analogous campaign to delegitimize beneficiaries of war is long overdue.
  • In addition to pressuring our members of Congress to refuse campaign donations from weapons manufacturers and war profiteers, we must mount a divestment effort at the institutional and municipal level. Investment in war must come at the cost of public disgrace... Divestment offers an alternate means of addressing the blight of war profiteering in an era in which traditional political routes have been closed by our craven representatives. It also brings the message into smaller communities–communities that crumble while defense contractors live in luxury...A new coalition of about 70 groups... has formed to launch a Divest From the War Machine campaign
  • We will not invest in our annihilation. Now we can avoid it... Our world and everything we care about is threatened every moment of every day by nuclear weapons, either by intent, accident, miscalculation or cyber-attack. These weapons, though now illegal following the July 2017 U.N. “Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons”, adopted by 122 nations, continue to be modernized at an expected cost of $1.7 trillion over the next 30 years... Now is the time to stop the insanity and divest of nuclear weapons just as apartheid was ultimately stopped by divestment in South Africa. If we want to abolish nuclear weapons, we must stop investing in them.
The just released “Don’t Bank On The Bomb“ report draws attention to the “Hall Of Shame” companies that are either financing or producing nuclear weapons and their components.
  • Ultimately, nuclear weapons will be abolished. They will either be abolished through the means outlined in the “Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons” and by divesting from them or, through their use in nuclear war, the aftermath of which may end all of life on this planet. The choice is ours. Our children and the future of the planet demand abolition now.


  • The Vatican urged Catholics on Thursday to disinvest from the armaments and fossil fuel industries and to closely monitor companies in sectors such as mining to check if they are damaging the environment. The calls were contained in a 225-page manual for church leaders and workers to mark the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ landmark encyclical “Laudato Si” (Praised Be) on the need to protect nature, life and defenseless people. The compendium suggests practical steps to achieve the goals of the encyclical, which strongly supported agreements to contain global warming and warned against the dangers of climate change. The manual’s section on finance said people “could favor positive changes ... by excluding from their investments companies that do not satisfy certain parameters.” It listed these as respect for human rights, bans on child labor and protection of the environment... Last month, more that 40 faith organizations from around the world, more than half of them Catholic, pledged to divest from fossil fuel companies. The document urges Catholics to defend the rights of local populations to have a say in whether their lands can be used for oil or mineral extraction and the right to take strong stands against companies that cause environmental disasters or over-exploit natural resources such as forests.
  • Over 550 students and alumni are calling on the University to divest from the U.S. prison system and publicly disclose its endowment holdings. “We, the undersigned, call upon the Princeton University Investment Company (PRINCO) to immediately and unequivocally divest Princeton’s holdings from the Prison-Industrial Complex,” notes a petition by Students for Prison Education, Abolition, and Reform (SPEAR)... The campaign broadens the definition of the prison complex system to include public prisons at the local, state, and federal levels. It also includes companies, such as Aramark, a food services corporation...that profit from the prison system... As of 2013, prisoners held in privately owned prisons constitute 8.4 percent of the total U.S. prison population... Such a small percentage makes the University’s divestment from private prisons “low-hanging fruit,” said Masha Miura ’21... Given the University’s renewed commitment “to identify specific actions that can be taken in their areas of responsibility to confront racism” in June — SPEAR leaders expect substantive change. For Miura, private and public prisons alike are enmeshed in capitalism. Private companies serving the prison system also receive funding from the government and actively marginalize and abuse people of color...

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