350.org’s Go Fossil Free campaign launched with Bill McKibben’s Do The Math Tour in 2012. It’s simple math: we can emit 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide and stay below 2°C of warming — anything more than that risks catastrophe for life on earth. The only problem? Burning the fossil fuel that corporations now have in their reserves would result in emitting 2,795 gigatons of carbon dioxide — five times the safe amount.
Fossil fuel companies are planning to burn it all — unless we rise up to stop them.
How can you help? Go Fossil Free: Divest-Invest!
And please share it with friends!
Why? If it is wrong to wreck the climate, then it is wrong to profit from that wreckage.
Time Magazine recently wrote that the “Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement has kicked into overdrive.” With a growing and powerful team leading the Divest-Invest campaign, we are ready to kick the fossil fuel divestment movement in Colorado into overdrive too. We’re encouraging individuals, educational and religious institutions, governments, foundations, endowments, and other institutions that serve the public good to divest from fossil fuels and reinvest in solutions. We can have a huge impact collectively when we move our money from fossil fuels to climate solutions.
Where I have direct control over the individual companies I invest in, I will:
- Make no new investments in oil, gas, and coal companies, especially the top 200 reserve owners.
- Sell investments in oil, gas, and coal companies, especially the top 200 reserve owners, within 3-5 years.
- Invest in a sustainable and equitable new renewable energy economy.
- In addition, I will bank with a financial institution that does not invest in fossil fuel companies or infrastructure and will strive to make personal choices in everyday life that reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
Where I do not have direct control over the individual companies in my investments–such as in an employer 401K, mutual fund, or ETF–I pledge to invest in fossil free alternatives as soon as suitable options become available. I will call on my employer or fund manager and encourage them to provide such options. If I intend to engage in shareholder advocacy, I may retain a small share for that purpose.
DIVESTMENT BACKGROUND, HISTORY AND OVERVIEW:
“With over $3.4 trillion in total assets, an increasing number of institutions and individuals are moving their money out of planet-heating fossil fuels and into climate solutions. Fiduciaries for pension funds, municipalities, universities, health organizations, faith groups, public charities, private foundations, and corporations have all reached the same conclusion: Divesting and investing in the clean energy future is a prudent financial and ethical choice.”
“The moral argument for divestment compels us to recognize that it’s wrong to profit from companies destroying the planet. By moving their money, people and institutions help revoke fossil fuel companies’ social license to operate…The financial argument for divestment demonstrates that fossil fuel-free portfolios are regularly matching or outperforming standard benchmarks. People and institutions grounded in market data and trends are getting out of fossil fuels before the carbon bubble bursts and assets are stranded.”
THE CASE FOR DIVESTMENT AND FIDUCIARY DUTY:
Huffington Post: The Financial Case for Divestment of Fossil Fuel Companies by Bevis Longstreth, former SEC Commissioner
“At some point down the road towards the red light of 2 Degrees Centigrade, however, it is entirely plausible, even predictable, that continuing to hold equities in fossil fuel companies will be ruled negligence.”
“The European Systemic Risk Board goes so far as to warn of a global economic “contagion” if the move to a low carbon economy happens too slowly or too late…For investors, it has become dangerous to think of fossil fuel stocks as the same old source of safe risk-adjusted returns that they have been in past decades, and perhaps equally dangerous to assume that the stranding of fossil reserves is a process that will take decades into the future.”
“Investors cannot assume economic growth will continue to rely heavily on an energy sector powered predominantly by fossil fuels.”
“If you own fossil fuels you own global warming. You own the most likely cause of global economic and possibly even civilization-level failure, and moreover, you own a power source that is having an increasingly tough time competing economically… As fiduciaries, it is paradoxical for us to attempt to mitigate portfolio risks by remaining invested in fossil fuels, which themselves represent perhaps our greatest systemic risk.”
“Here is the relevance of carbon to investing: There is consensus within the scientific community that increasing the global temperature by more than 2°C will likely cause devastating and irreversible damage to the planet…At least two-thirds of fossil fuel reserves will not be monetized if we are to stay below 2°C of warming – creating stranded carbon assets.”
“Climate science and the launch of a carbon budget fuelled the first wave of discussion around the risk of stranded assets. Oil price falls turned the debate from policy to economics … Looking ahead, we believe that stranding risks will become increasingly acute as efficiency gains hit demand and technology drivers increase supply and reduce demand.”
“The IEA’s 2°C-compatible 450 Scenario estimates the amount of stranded assets… to be on the order of USD 304 billion by 2035… The IEA stresses the conservative nature of its estimates. The Climate Policy Initiative’s Financial Impact of the Low-Carbon Transition provides estimates of stranding in power generation and gas and coal sectors as suppliers to the electricity sector. Spanning the same period as the IEA, CPI estimates that USD 50 billion will be stranded in power generation, USD 600 billion in coal, and USD 400 billion in gas.”
DIVESTMENT, REINVESTMENT AND PORTFOLIO PERFORMANCE:
“Investors who dumped holdings in coal, oil and gas earned an average return of 1.2% more a year over last five years, data from the world’s leading stock market index reveals.”
“Analysis of historical data shows that over the past seven years eliminating the fossil fuel sector from a global benchmark index would have actually had a small positive return effect. Furthermore, much of the economic effect of excluding fossil fuel stocks could have been replicated with ‘fossil free’ energy portfolios consisting of energy efficiency and renewable energy stocks, with limited additional tracking error and improved returns.”
“Ultimately, we believe that sustainable investing is simply a smart way to invest, and our review shows preconceptions regarding subpar performance are out of step with reality.” – Audrey Choi, CEO of the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing
Cashing In on Climate Change, The New York Times
“One of the myths around socially responsible investing is that aligning investments with ethics means lower returns. But that’s not the case. George Serafeim, an associate professor at Harvard Business School, and his colleagues analyzed data going back over 20 years. Companies that were committed to sustainability outperformed companies that weren’t, they found. A dollar invested in sustainability-minded companies in 1993 would have grown to $22.58 by 2014, but just $15.35 if invested in companies with no such commitments.”
DIVESTMENT AND REINVESTMENT GUIDES:
“If it’s wrong to wreck the climate, then it’s wrong to profit from its wreckage”. – Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org
“Is my own money invested in fossil fuels? Almost certainly. Most of the high street banks, including HSBC, Lloyds, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland and Santander, have millions invested in fossil fuel companies. Most investment funds, including the trillion dollar pensions industry, are heavily invested in fossil fuels and do not offer savers a fossil free option, although demand is rising.”
“Investors who divest from fossil fuels and invest in climate solutions will drive the energy transition the world must make. And those who move their money early will benefit, unleashing the innovation needed to secure our survival and ensure our prosperity.”- Ellen Dorsey, executive director of the Wallace Global Fund
“Step 1: Find out how much you have invested. Step 2: Discuss your divestment options with your custodian. Step 3: Look at fee structures, find out what’s best for you. Step 4: Consider investing in a sustainable clean energy future.”
TOOLS TO RESEARCH FOSSIL FUEL CONTENT OF FUNDS AND TO FIND ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE FUNDS:
Fossil Free Funds fossil content search tool
COLORADO FINANCIAL ADVISORS SPECIALIZING IN ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE INVESTING:
Better World Investments, Boulder
*Change Finance, Inc, Boulder
Colorado Capital Management, Boulder
Colorado Sustainable Financial, Golden
*Cornerstone Capital Group, Denver, New York, Washington D.C.
*First Affirmative, Colorado Springs
Funderburk Financial, Longmont
*Green Alpha Advisors, Boulder
Gump & McHugh Asset Management, Colorado Springs
Horizons Sustainable Financial Services, Palmer Lake
Principled Investing, Boulder
*Principium Investments, Boulder
Veris Wealth Partners, Boulder, New York, San Francisco
* Special thanks to our 350CO Go Fossil Free: Divest-Invest Advisory Group members. If you would like to schedule a presentation or meeting with these experts, please contact micah(at)350colorado.org.
Join the growing list of private investors, foundations, universities, pension funds, faith organizations and local governments that have made a commitment to divest including: the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, the cities of San Francisco, Seattle and Oslo, the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, the London School of Economics and Syracuse University. You can view divestment endorsements from high profile leaders here.
350 Colorado is hosting workshops and working with local financial experts to develop information booklets on why and how to divest from fossil fuels and reinvest in solutions. Please see our calendar of events below for upcoming workshops and contact us if you would like more information. And check back to this page as we will be adding additional resources and information periodically. Click here to learn more about local solutions and how to Fossil Free Your Life. Thank you for taking action!
- Nov. 11, 2016 – Fossil Fuel Divestment & Reinvestment Action Strategy Circle at the SRI Conference in Denver
- Nov. 28, 2016 – Divestment / Investment Strategies for Foundations & Endowments at the Alliance Center
350 Colorado assumes no legal or financial responsibility for the practices, products, or services of any businesses listed. If you click on the hyperlinks posted on this page you are leaving our website and we have no control over information posted on those websites. Please read all materials carefully prior to making investment decisions.