Fossil Fuel Divestment

March's Eco Cafe covered fossil fuel divestment:

Minimising the Impact of Climate Change Requires:
Fast action
Changing systems
Removing the brakes (press on accelerator without taking off the brakes…need to be identified…)

What’s Holding us Back?
Lobbying/power of Fossil Fuels industry….to a govt who’re interested in keeping the status quo
Economic model that says we have to be growing/producing = progress
Advertising/marketing
Ignorance

What is Divestment?
Selling investment in fossil fuel companies and reinvesting proceeds in eg green finance
Whole sector - including banks/lobbying groups/hedge funds
$2.6 trillion already disinvested around the world
$13.1 billion Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global - biggest divester
But includes govt bodies
Universities
Pension funds
Individuals
Organisations/businesses guilty of a continuing ‘Head in the Sand’ approach
5x more resources in the ground/books than we can possibly use while staying within the 2 degree
carbon budget (Paris Agreement)
Some fossil fuels companies talk re investing in renewables but, using BP as an example: 97%
allocated to further exploration and extraction, and just 3% directed towards renewables
development.

More Info From:
350.org
DivestInvest
Operation Noah
http://www.climateaction100.org/ (apologies, you will need to copy and paste that one)

There is a huge lack of transparency in the workings/thinking of fossil fuel companies.
It’s clear that their planned emissions way exceed the 2 degrees.

Why is it Important?

Moral case
Developing countries taking the brunt
Responsibility to children/grandchildren
Commitment to planet
Argument for doing it in a managed way now rather than in a destructive way in the future

Financial Case:
Poor returns 25-30% below FTSE
(As of 10th March 40% below FTSE)
Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney recently warned that staying within the carbon
budget (to meet the commitments of the Paris Agreement to hold global temperature well below
2.0 degrees….a bare minimum we should be aiming for) "would render the vast majority of
reserves ‘stranded' - oil, gas and coal will be literally unburnable”…. And that if we don’t, anyway
“climate breakdown could render investments held by millions of people worthless”.

Alternatives:
Engagement - They say if we’re out we haven’t got a seat at the table…influence…blah blah…but no evidence
that continuing to have a seat has any impact on fossil fuel companies strategic planning.
BP have said they’ll look at it but new CEO hasn’t done anything yet
Shell - have at least agreed they need to take Paris agreement seriously
CofE - will wait and see which companies not meeting Paris pledge by 2023 and divest from those
who aren’t. Have just invested 600M in new green Carbon fund (motion passed in February 2020
that all churches to be carbon neutral by 2030)
Invest in renewable energy and other Paris Agreement compliant funds
Govt recently decided to lift ban on subsidies for on-shore wind turbines, likely to mean more
growth for this industry. These are growing sectors, performing well.

How can I Help?
Write letters…lobby….campaign…
Eg currently Surrey Pension Fund hold £151 million in fossil fuel investments. As taxpayers, that’s
our money.
Encourage our own organisations to divest.
Look at our own investments….talk to financial advisor….also where we bank has an impact.
thegoodshoppingguide.com/ethical-banks-and-building-societies
Sarah Massey, 12/03/2020