Special: Institutions are pulling out investments worth billions from fossil fuels

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What is fossil fuel divestment?
Divestment is the opposite of investment – it is the removal of your investment capital from stocks, bonds or funds. The global movement for fossil fuel divestment (sometimes also called disinvestment) is asking institutions to move their money out of oil, coal and gas companies for both moral and financial reasons. These institutions include universities, religious institutions, pension funds, local authorities and charitable foundations.

It is the fastest-growing divestment campaign in history and could cause significant damage to coal, gas and oil companies, according to a study by Oxford University. Previous divestment campaigns have targeted the tobacco and gambling industries and companies funding the violence in Darfur. Divestment is perhaps most well known for its role in the fight against apartheid in South Africa.

EXCERPTED FROM
A beginners guide to fossil fuel divestment
Emma Howard, The Guardian UK
A comprehensive guide to the basics of divestment: what it means, why the urgency and how it impacts climate change.

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Institutions worth $2.6 trillion have now pulled investments out of fossil fuels
Damian Carrington and Emma Howard, The Guardian UK 
Leonardo DiCaprio and over 2,000 individuals and 400 institutions are now committed to pulling their money from fossil fuel companies, together representing a remarkable $2.6tn of investments. A new analysis shows the value of the funds committed to selling off their investments in coal, oil and gas companies has rocketed in the last year, rising 50-fold. Major pension funds and insurance companies have joined the universities and churches that founded the divestment movement, all of whom fear the impact of climate change on both the world and the value of their investment portfolios.

Ten UK universities divest from fossil fuels
The Guardian UK
Ten UK universities with endowments worth £115m are in the process of moving their money out of fossil fuels ahead of crunch UN climate change talks in Paris later this month. The University of Surrey, the University of Arts in London (UAL) and Oxford Brookes University are divesting their respective £42m, £3.9m and £1.6m endowments from all fossil fuel companies.

Stanford Students Stage Sit-In, Want University To Divest From Fossil Fuels
CBS SF Bay Area
More than 100 students are holding a sit-in at Stanford University Monday afternoon to call on school leaders and administrators to divest from the fossil fuel industry. The students are outside university president John Hennessy’s office and have no plans to leave until the college declares a divestment from the fossil fuel industry, student Yari Greaney said.

Thomas Piketty calls for investors to divest from fossil fuels ahead of climate talks
The Guardian UK
Thomas Piketty has called for investors to move their money out of fossil fuels ahead of landmark UN climate change talks. The French economist, along with ‘ecological economist’ Tim Jackson, authors of the respective bestselling books Capital in the Twenty-First Century and Prosperity Without Growth: economics for a finite planet, said that investors should divest from a sector with a business model “at odds with physical realities”.

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