Investors, foundations, universities and governments pulled their assets from fossil fuel companies in record numbers in October.
The new popularity of the term Green New Deal can be credited to this group of young climate activists known as the Sunrise Movement.
As the smoke continues to blanket our state, we call on insurers and other institutional investors to be a powerful force for good, and to end the madness of continued extraction. Our ability to thrive on this, our only planet, demands it of them.
When New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli announced last month that the state would divest its over $200 billion Common Retirement Fund from more than 20 coal companies, it marked an important milestone for a grassroots campaign that has seen a recent burst of new momentum.
Today UC administrators confirmed that the University of California will be going fossil free at their quarterly UC Regents’ meeting. After a 6-year campaign, led by UC students and faculty, the UC will be divesting their $13.4 billion endowment and $70 billion pension funds from fossil fuel companies.
Mary and Maeve are talking about money, money. Fighting climate change might be a moral necessity but women are learning to hit vested interests where it hurts the most, in the pocket.
We can’t count on governments alone to do the work necessary – governments, from Canada and America to Russia and Saudi Arabia to China and India, are still too often beholden to the fossil fuel companies. We need to keep pushing hard on those companies – and we will.
Local government these days has public health responsibilities. It is this that has led to some funds divesting from tobacco (but not all – Hackney is increasing its tobacco investments). The reputational and liability risks are arguably there with fossil fuel investments too: already oil majors are facing collective lawsuits for their negligence and conspiracy.
On Friday, climate activists led by indigenous leaders and environmental groups gathered outside branches of JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo in downtown Seattle to protest their financing of tar sands pipelines. It’s not the first time the banks have been besieged by activists—and probably won’t be the last.
Like the call and response in Lakota ceremonial prayer songs, tribes are answering the Standing Rock’s Sioux plea for all of Indian Country to move its money out of banks that have invested in the Dakota Access pipeline and help further destabilize the pipeline’s already shaky financing.
Sasja Beslik, head of sustainable finance at Nordea, one of the largest banks in Europe, recently traveled to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on a fact-finding mission.
Are we expecting COP21 to be that moment of fireworks and dancing elephants, a ‘Great Change Moment’, when people dance in the street and subsequently put plaques up to immortalise the moment for their grandchildren? If we are, we’re missing the point.