Divesting is as important as ever, but it can now be seen as one plank in a more comprehensive approach climate activists are taking on college campuses.
HSBC Bank—Europe’s biggest by total assets—announced today they would no longer provide financing for new oil and gas fields.
In May 2021 the Asian Development Bank (ADB) made headlines around the world with the news to exit coal. This was seen as a victory for civil society, especially to the NGO Forum on ADB, an Asian-led network of 250 civil society organizations, and said to bring much-delayed justice for all the affected communities across Asia affected by coal projects.
A wave of student-led actions swept across the campuses of around 60 U.S. and Canadian schools last month, as students turned to sit-ins, walkouts and banner drops to pressure universities into divesting their endowments from fossil fuel companies. Called “Divestment Day” by activists, the Feb. 13 series of actions was just the latest escalation for a movement that’s been undergoing a serious revival.
The way forward is to channel popular support for action on climate change into an organised movement. The power of that movement—marshalled to support a left government—is our best shot at doing something meaningful while we still can.
As we hurtle into 2019, we need to immediately shift to actions against the ultra-wealthy and the uber-powerful. It is long past time for changing how we talk about climate change.
Identifying where our campaigning aims overlap through a fossil fuel lens will enable us to expel the industry on a grand scale, and in turn enable us to transform our city on an equally grand scale- fairly, cleanly, and democratically.
The end of 2017 saw a rapid escalation of big divestment announcements, including from global insurer Axa. 2018 brings more opportunity – so long as campaigning prioritises the voices of those most impacted by climate change.
Exhibiting a phenomenon in the social sciences called the “radical flank effect,” McKibben and 350.org have dramatically altered the climate change debate in the United States. Their success on this dimension offers important insights relevant for all social activists to consider.
Recently, a number of institutional investors, including Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec in Canada and Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, announced their intent to reduce their exposure in investments linked to fossil fuels. The announcements show that investors withdraw their funds to either mitigate financial risks or for ethical reasons. But the question remains whether divestment and divestment announcements have a financial impact on the share price of fossil fuel companies.
While banking executives from over 90 of the world’s largest financial institutions gathered in Sao Paulo, Brazil on Monday for the start of a three-day meeting on the environmental and social impacts of their infrastructure investments, activists in at least 15 U.S. states and several other countries staged protests under the banner of “Divest The Globe.” Their message to the banks was simple: cut ties with fossil fuel companies, or face major divestment campaigns.
“I don’t want to act based on fear, but I see how fragile the institutions are around us. Things could suddenly change. I listen behind the headlines to the trends in the news, the signs of our societal decomposition. There are many ways we should prepare for the transition, and connecting with neighbors and local people is key.”