What started as a trickle of information on fossil fuels divestment and clean energy investment has become a torrent. In addition to the tsunami of data about the climate crisis, there is a lot of hopeful information on clean energy advancements, and the increasingly strong financial case for divestment. New investment opportunities, divestment announcements, and ways to take concrete action abound!
New and Notable
Fossil Free California is asking local CTA chapters around the state to pass resolutions calling for CalSTRS divestment from fossil fuels. As we receive these resolutions, we will share them with CalSTRS—and we encourage you to share them with your State Council Rep as well. Here is everything you need to pass a divestment resolution!
- Report: CalSTRS Loses Over $1.63B on Fossil Fuel Stocks Since July 2019, by Vanessa Warheit
Fossil Free California’s preliminary analysis of recent data looked at CalSTRS’s publicly disclosed oil and gas holdings, focusing on its investments in significant tar sands and fracking companies. The study found that the California State Teachers’ Retirement System lost over $1.63B between July 2019 and May 2020 from its investments in fossil fuel companies
- Study: CA and CO Pension Funds Lost Billions on Fossil Fuels, by Corporate Knights
Three reports from Corporate Knights, a Toronto-based media and analysis firm, show that California pension funds CalPERS (public employees), CalSTRS (state teachers) and Colorado’s PERA (public employees) lost more than $19 billion between 2009 and 2019 by staying invested in fossil fuels.
- Why CalSTRS Should Divest from Fossil Fuels, by Stephen Greenslade
Stephen Greenslade is an analyst specializing on the intersection of energy transition policy and climate-related financial risk. With the ARO Working Group, Stephen has worked to educate lawyers, policymakers, journalists, activist groups, and others on the risks associated with underfunded Asset Retirement Obligations, an extremely large but obscure subset of fossil fuel industry liabilities.
- Money is the Oxygen on Which the Fire of Global Warming Burns, by Bill McKibben
Bill McKibben is an author and environmentalist who in 2014 was awarded the Right Livelihood Prize, sometimes called the ‘alternative Nobel.’ His 1989 book The End of Nature is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change. He is a founder of 350.org, the first planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement, which launched the fast-growing fossil fuel divestment movement. His latest book is “Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?”.
Start Here ...
If you are new to climate change and divestment topics, get up to speed by watching three videos: "An Introduction to Divestment"; 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
From the USSIF website.
- The astonishing growth of the divestment movement was reported by Arabella Advisors in The Global Fossil Fuel Divestment and Clean Energy Investment Movement.
- Divestment commitments are tracked at gofossilfree.org/commitments. With over $14.5 trillion in assets under management by over 1000 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:
- Heated - by irreverent climate journalist Emily Atkin http://www.heated.world
- 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/
- Drilled - multi-season podcast and reporting on climate denial & climate action, by Amy Westervelt http://drillednews.com
- 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.
- DITCHED - https://www.politicalclimatepodcast.com/ditched - Podcasts on divestment and climate finance hosted by award-winning journalist Julia Pyper.
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.
For resources that relate to one of our campaigns, such as "Move Your Money", please see the relevant campaign page.