“If fiduciaries own fossil fuels, they own global warming…” writes Green Alpha Advisors’ Garvin Jabusch in “The Economic Case for Divesting From Fossil Fuels.” Think about that for a second. Fiduciaries hold assets to benefit others, but if those monies are invested in fossil fuel companies, they are directly contributing to global warming. Of course the same applies to you and me. If we hold assets in gas, oil, or coal companies, we too have invested in global warming. Which is why divestment from fossil fuel corporations matters so much to battling climate change.
Jabusch highlights ten reasons for divestment from fossil fuels.
- Fossil fuels have the capacity to threaten basic systems.
- Fossil fuel assets present asset abandonment risk.
- Renewables are becoming too competitive for fossil fuels.
- Fossil fuel firms are beginning to have to pay for their externalities.
- Fossil fuels are likely to face carbon taxes.
- Fossil fuels will soon face diminishing governmental subsidies and benefits.
- There is growing global institutional belief that transition to renewables solves climate AND economy.
- Fossil fuels are the ultimate non-circular: they’re completely consumed upon first use, so more primary source extraction is required.
- Distributed renewable energy grid is more secure than traditional hub and spoke systems, even those powered by domestic fossil fuels.
- Renewables will counter fossil fuels’ endless ‘boom and bust’ economic cycles.
Just imagine if every individual and organization pulled their investments from fossil fuel companies. What would happen to those corporations if they lacked the resources to buy policies and misinform the public? And how would the renewable energy sector benefit by the influx of new monies to fund their ever-growing industry, creating more and more jobs in the process? Would the small yet vocal group of climate denying state and national leaders take notice and reframe their message to acknowledge and tackle climate change? I think so. It all starts with you and me. We can do this!
5-Minute Climate Change Mitigation Action Item for the Week:
Pull out those retirement and equity account statements and determine if any holdings are in fossil fuel equities. If you’re in an energy ETF, odds are you’re in the big oil, gas, and coal companies. Move your monies out of the fossil fuel companies and into socially responsible investments. Speak about divestment from fossil fuels with your local non-profit agencies, higher education institutions, and government agencies. Learn more about divestment at Fossil Free.