Welcome to our Divest Invest Resource Hub!
Below you’ll find information on the background of the fossil fuel divestment movement, the fiduciary case for divestment, as well as information on fossil free banking and how to find environmentally responsible funds.
Start by watching this quick video on the role of global fossil fuel subsidies.
DIVESTMENT BACKGROUND, HISTORY AND OVERVIEWDivest Invest Philanthropy and Europeans for Divest Invest: Doing Good. Performing Better. Beat your Benchmarks. Beat Climate Change.
“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
“Earth to trustees” – climate risk guidance for pension funds is now available
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.”
FOSSIL FREE BANKING
Does your bank fund projects like the Dakota Access Pipeline, KXL Pipeline or fracking?
Are you invested in fossil fuels? If you’re banking with certain big banks, you might be unwittingly supporting projects like the Dakota Access Pipeline or fracking!
- See this “Banking on Climate Change” Report from Rainforest Action and Sierra Club to learn more. “This report card ranks bank policies and practices around financing of the most carbon-intensive, financially risky, and environmentally destructive sectors of the fossil fuel industry.”
- Read this article in the Guardian about how “Top global banks still lend billions to extract fossil fuels – Analysis of world’s lenders reveals many claim green credentials while still financing fuels like tar sands, oil and coal”
- Want to make sure your city is not investing public funds in fossil fuel projects? Check out this great campaign tool.
WHAT ARE STRANDED ASSETS & WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
“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 RESOURCES
“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 ADVISERS 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
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.
* 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 campaigns(at)350colorado.org.
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.