How Divestment Virtue Signaling Harms The Search For Climate Solutions

divestment virtue climate solutions harms
Gulf
  • Date: 07/19/2021
  • Source: Forbes
  • Sector: Oil & Gas
  • Country: Gulf

How Divestment Virtue Signaling Harms The Search For Climate Solutions

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR DIVESTINVEST - Co-founder and chief investment strategist of GMO Jeremy ... [+] Grantham lays out the financial case for divestment at the Fossil Fuel Divestment State of the Movement event on Monday, Sept. 10, 2018, in San Francisco. (Alison Yin/AP Images for DivestInvest) As the world searches for solutions to future energy and environment issues, the divestment movement increasingly becomes a counterproductive anachronism. The movement is little more than a highly-expensive form of cliquish virtue signaling, a fashionable exercise among the world's elite that carries a big cost for the university and public endowments that practice it while having little if any impact on targeted companies or global emissions. A variety of scholarly studies in recent years have shown that divestment practices can cost the practicing institutions hundreds of millions while accomplishing nothing of real substance, a reality to which some fund managers are waking up. Sandy Matheson, executive director of the Main Public Employee Retirement System (MainePERS) recently told Bloomberg News that "Just selling does nothing to address climate change, as ownership of the funds are just being transferred to someone else. That's true, both in the private and public markets. Selling fossil fuel stocks doesn't…