As the world edges ever closer to climate catastrophe, what started as a trickle of information on fossil fuels divestment and clean energy investment has become a torrent. The COP-21 climate accord in Paris (December 2015) inspired several large, well-funded studies of the potential impacts of continuing "business as usual" in the fossil fuels sector. In addition to the tsunami of data about climate-related concerns, there is a lot of hopeful information on clean energy technological advancements. New investment opportunities and divestment announcements abound.
Start Here ...
If you are new to climate change and divestment topics, get up to speed by watching two videos: Bill McKibben's "Do theMath" and The Guardian's "What Is Divestment and Why Does It Matter?".
Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org and the fossil fuels divestment movement, launched his "Do the Math" tour in 2012 to take on fossil fuel companies directly at their point of greatest vulnerability: shareholders' investments, which reflect and affect the perceived value of fossil fuels in society. The Guardian's ongoing and extensive campaign to educate the public on the broader topic of climate change and what we can do about it is linked below under News Feeds.
What to Read Next to Learn About Divestment
"Make a Clean Break: Your Guide to Fossil Fuel Free Investing" is a general guide to personal divestment from Green Century Capital Management, Trillium Asset Management and 350.org. This information is useful whether you invest on your own, with support from a Financial Advisor, or through an employer-sponsored retirement account.
The invaluable website divestinvestguide.org is the latest offering from DivestInvest.org. Along with 350.org, DivestInvest.org began collecting personal and institutional pledges to divest around the time of the People's Climate March in 2014. In addition to tracking divestment pledges, DivestInvestGuide is a source of divestment information and links to software tools. Be sure to sign up for updates on the divestinvestguide.org site.
The latest report on the astonishing growth of the divestment movement from Arabella Advisors is The Global Fossil Fuel Divestment and Clean Energy Investment Movement. With over $5.5 trillion in assets under management by almost 700 institutions and over 60,000 individual investors, the divestment movement has been characterized as one of the fastest-growing social movements of this century.
Climate change has become big news, spurred by the willful ignorance of climate deniers and the accelerating pace of the environmental impacts of climate change. New stories, revelations, and reports appear daily, from all over the world.
One of the best ways to keep up to date is by subscribing to climate newsletters that collect news items from US and global sources.
Here are a few sources to consider:
- The Daily Climate - http://www.dailyclimate.org/frontpage/
- The Guardian's "Keep It in the Ground" campaign - http://www.theguardian.com/uk/environment . Search on "keep it in the ground" for links to articles in the series. The Guardian is a constant source of insightful pieces on climate change.
- Inside Climate News - http://insideclimatenews.org/
- Climate Home - http://www.climatechangenews.com/
- Climate Liability News - http://climateliabilitynews.org - reports on lawsuits, liability issues, and reporting requirements arising from the physical or financial impacts of climate change.
Don't see your favorite climate change news source? Send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know.
Tools for Analyzing Investments
A simple tool for viewing mutual fund investments and screening for fossil fuels and other factors is available at fossilfreefunds.org. This tool was created by As You Sow, a nonprofit organization that has been "promoting environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and innovative legal strategies" for more than 20 years.
The Fossil Free Funds tool enables investors to find out exactly what they own, so that they can follow through on a pledge to divest.
The Portfolio Decarbonizer tool from Corporate Knights shows the financial implications of divesting high carbon companies in favor of those that derive at least 20% of their revenues from environmental markets or new energy. The tool shows what would happen to a portfolio that divested from fossil fuels companies beginning in October, 2012 and invested in clean energy companies instead.
Test results on various high-profile portfolios are instructive: the New York State pension fund, for example, would have been $5.3 billion dollars richer today if it had divested fossil fuels holdings and reinvested in clean energy.
Learn more at http://www.corporateknights.com/reports/decarbonization-tools/. The Corporate Knights website also has many useful reports and opinion pieces.
For resources that relate to one of our campaigns, such as "Move Your Money", please see the relevant campaign page.