Fossil Fuel divestment funds reach $5 trillion
The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, has today announced that the international total of fossil fuel divestment funds has doubled in a year and now totals more than $5 trillion.
Fossil fuel divestment is the act of removing assets – including stocks, bonds and investments – from companies which are involved with extracting fossil fuels from the earth. Fundamentally, it is about trying to reduce the effects of man-made climate change by attacking the root cause: multi-national corporations which are more interested in making money than the future of the planet.
From humble beginnings in 2011, the fossil fuel divestment campaign now involves in 688 institutions and more than 58,000 individuals across 76 countries. This includes national sovereign wealth funds, such as the one operated by Norway, and international commercial and pension fund giants, such as Allianz and Aegon.
Fossil fuel divestment has entered the financial mainstream and, with an increase in value to $5 trillion in five years, has undergone the sort of growth that fossil fuel companies themselves would envy.
It is an established fact that the only way to prevent a worldwide climate disaster is to leave all remaining fossil fuels in the ground, but that has not stopped people hungrily consuming them and ignoring renewable alternatives. The intellectual poverty inherent in our collective approach to the energy supply was again highlighted today in Delhi where they plan to install a jet engine to drive pollution away from the city rather than even begin to consider developing a low pollution, low carbon energy network. Out of sight, out of mind. Problem solved – unless you happen to live downwind of the city, presumably.
It has been made extremely clear that the small group of oil barons, coal mining giants and natural gas superpower nations which are poisoning the planet cannot be persuaded to change their ways through either the obvious reality of environmental destruction or the fact that millions of people are killed every year by polluted air. It might be that attacking their bottom lines may prove the way to get their attention instead.