The Case For Fossil Fuel Divestment

SectorOil & Gas
CountryMiddle east

This piece highlights the merits of the fossil fuel divestment approach. My next piece will cover an alternative view, evaluating the advantages of engagement with fossil fuel companies. A challenge as big as decarbonization demands multiple strategies.  A decade ago, noted environmentalist Bill McKibben had a radical-sounding idea. To save the planet, we needed to “revoke the social license of the fossil fuel industry.” His comprehensive vision of fossil fuel divestment would require financial institutions and civil society to stand shoulder-to-shoulder.

This plan was audacious; in 2011 Exxon Mobil was the largest company in the world, and nearly every foundation and academic endowment invested in fossil fuels. However, divestment has gained remarkable traction in recent years, going from a fringe strategy to a $14.5 trillion movement with over a thousand major investors, pension plans, and endowments committed. Today, as institutional and retail investors pour money into environmentally conscious funds, it is time to consider the financial and social benefits of the movement. more...