Fossil fuel divestment
removal of investment in companies involved in extracting fossil fuels to reduce climate change
- The logic of divestment couldn't be simpler: if it's wrong to wreck the climate, it's wrong to profit from that wreckage.
- We see this as both a moral imperative and an economic opportunity.
- I think this is part of a process of delegitimising this sector and saying these are odious profits, this is not a legitimate business model.
- This Agreement [...] aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, [...] including by [...] Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C and [...] Making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.
- It is clear the transition to a clean energy future is inevitable, beneficial and well underway, and that investors have a key role to play.
- Reasonably, all these investments are financial dead-ends or ecological disasters.
- We need to rapidly shift away from our dependence on fossil fuels. [...] Nothing less than our future and the fate of humankind depends on how we rise to the climate challenge.
- The UK government’s overseas development bank has bowed to calls to end fossil fuel financing abroad by promising to invest only in companies that align with the Paris climate agreement. The CDC Group revealed its new climate strategy, which will end support for the most polluting fossil fuel projects, including the production of oil and coal, and channel almost a third of its spending towards climate finance. The publicly owned investor, which supports job-creating sectors in Africa and south Asia, will end financing for coal mining, and oil and gas production, as well as new or existing power plants and refineries that use coal or heavy oil. The UK government is under growing pressure to end its support for overseas fossil fuel projects after campaigners revealed that more than £3bn in public money was used to support polluting projects abroad since the Paris climate agreement was signed...
- The decision to curb support follows an exodus of major institutional investors from the coal industry in recent years, including Goldman Sachs and Blackrock. Investors are wary of supporting industries that contribute to the climate crisis, and may risk the financial stability of their funds. Norway’s $1.19tn (£950bn) sovereign wealth fund, the largest in the world, has decided to reduce its exposure to oil and gas investments too.
- The UK’s biggest pension fund, the government-backed National Employment Savings Trust (Nest) scheme with nine million members, is to begin divesting from fossil fuels in what climate campaigners have hailed as a landmark move for the industry. The fund will ban investments in any companies involved in coal mining, oil from tar sands and arctic drilling. But the move puts Nest – a public corporation of the Department for Work and Pensions – potentially at odds with the current pensions minister, Guy Opperman, who earlier this month condemned divestment as “counter productive”. Nest, which handles much of the pensions of workers saving under the government’s “auto enrolment” scheme, will shift £5.5bn into “climate aware” investments as it anticipates a green economic recovery from coronavirus.
- The ban will mean that some of the world’s biggest mining companies, such as BHP, can never be part of Nest’s share holdings, as long they derive profits from digging coal. It said it will sell its final holdings in BHP by 3 August. Nest will also seek to reduce its carbon-intensive holdings, such as with the traditional oil giants, while investing more money in renewable energy infrastructure. The fund’s chief investment officer, Mark Fawcett, said Nest was sending a strong and clear message about the seriousness of climate change.