INVESTMENTS & DIVESTMENTS

INVESTMENTS & DIVESTMENTS

There are few forces as mighty as the power of the purse, and just as capital drives the actions of people and the movement of things, so can its absence. Investment can stand up a transnational corporation; a boycott, at least in theory, can take it down.

This axiom played out on a big stage in the spring of 2020 when JP Morgan Chase, which lent more than $195 billion to gas and oil companies over the previous three years, faced a revolt at its annual shareholder meeting. At the virtual meeting, 49.6 percent of shareholders voted to require Chase to produce a plan to align its business with the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement to hold an increase in global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit the rise to 1.5 degrees.

Shareholders also pressured the bank to remove from its board Lee Raymond, the former chief executive officer of ExxonMobil and a renowned climate change denier. That action followed sustained pressure by activists including Bill McKibben, who wrote in an April 2020 New York Times op-ed that Raymond led ExxonMobil while it “helped pioneer corporate efforts to create doubt about climate change” even when its own scientists knew the truth and the corporation was moving to protect its infrastructure from sea-level rise.

The year 2020 began with BlackRock, the world’s largest money manager, announcing a dramatic shift toward prioritizing climate change in its investment strategies. It also began with the mayors of two world capitals — Bill de Blasio of New York and Sadiq Khan of London — urging their counterparts around the world to join them in divesting their municipalities’ pension funds from fossil fuel holdings. They presented “Divesting from Fossil Fuels, Investing in Our Future: A Toolkit for Cities,” a guide to divesting while increasing sustainable investments produced by C40, a network of megacities committed to addressing climate change.

On campuses around the world, students are demanding that their university divest from fossil fuels. Divest Ed offers training and strategy for student-led divestment campaigns. As of May, 2020, GoFossilFree.org listed a total of 1,195 institutions and over 58,000 individuals representing more than $14 trillion in assets, which have begun or committed to a divestment from fossil fuels. 30% of those commitments came from faith-based organizations and 15% from educational institutions including Stanford, the University of California, the University of Hawaii, Georgetown, and most recently University of Vermont, to name a few in the United States.

Wall Street has collectively gotten the message, and today’s investors, millennials very much included, can choose from a number of mutual funds that emphasize sectors from low-carbon electricity and energy efficiency to copper, which is essential for wind- and solar-power infrastructure as well as electric-vehicle-charging stations.

What is fossil fuel divestment and why does it matter? | Keep it in the ground

CURRENT NEWS

KEY RESOURCES

The world’s 60 biggest banks poured over 6 years into the fossil fuel industry, driving climate chaos & causing deadly local community impacts.

06/30/22
Bank funding for fossil fuels often brings dire threats to the lives and livelihoods of local communities around the world — harming Indigenous Peoples, Black and Brown communities, and poor and working-class communities first and…

Integrating Climate and Net-Zero Solutions Into Your Investment Process

06/29/22
Climate and Net-Zero Solutions helps investors make their portfolios more resilient to the transition to a net-zero economy and overall effects of a warming climate. It combines in one easy-to-use platform

Our Impact

01/07/22
These incredible results are made possible with help from you. Join us in our efforts to protect our communities, climate and environment from the risks associated with outdated, climate-polluting energy. We are strongest when we…

The Catalyst Program

08/26/21
Many clean energy innovations available today – like wind, solar, and lithium-ion batteries – are starting to compete with the emissions-intensive technologies they were designed to replace. After decades of research, development, demonstration, and deployment,…

Find out if you’re invested in 200 of the largest owners of carbon reserves

07/07/21
The Carbon Underground 200™, compiled and maintained by FFI Solutions (formerly Fossil Free Indexes℠), identifies the top 100 coal and the top 100 oil and gas publicly-traded reserve holders globally, ranked by the potential carbon…

Implementation of the Fossil Fuel Investment Principles

07/06/21
Following the adoption of the Fossil Fuel Investment Principles by the Yale Board of Trustee in April 2021, the ACIR began its task of applying the Principles and recommending to the CCIR fossil fuel producers…

Global asset owners setting and reporting on ambitious interim targets for net-zero emissions by 2050

05/26/21
Founded in September 2019 at the UN Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit by Allianz, Caisse des Dépôts, La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), Folksam Group, PensionDanmark, and SwissRe, the Net-Zero Asset Owner…

BANK with your values!

05/16/21
Decarbonizing our financial sector is critical for climate progress. The five largest US consumer banks—Bank of America, Citi, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and TD Bank—funnel hundreds of billions of dollars annually into the oil,…

Global Investors Driving Business Transition

06/10/20
Climate Action 100+ is an investor initiative to ensure the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters take necessary action on climate change. The companies include 100 ‘systemically important emitters’, accounting for two-thirds of annual global…

Disclose, Divest, Reinvest!

05/06/20
Harvard’s current pledge is radically insufficient. Students, faculty, and alumni lay out seven steps the university should take to align its endowment with a livable future.

Let’s Fund

02/14/20
Let’s Fund helps you discover and fund breakthrough research, policy and advocacy projects. We use the principles of Effective Altruism to find the projects that we believe will do a lot of good. We do…

Enhancing Women’s Organizations’ Role In, and Access To, Climate Finance

02/06/20
Through a collaboration with Prospera, the International Network of Women’s Funds, who commissioned this vital work, WEDO researched and produced this report and accompanying summary documents on engaging women’s organizations, feminist advocates, and gender-related groups…

Make smart donations

01/31/20
Last summer, when we discussed how to make your climate change donations count, our reporting suggested that one of the most effective strategies is donating to political campaigns.

Fossil Free: 1000+ Divestment Commitments

01/03/20
See a full list of 1000+ Divestment commitments. Fossil Free is a global project sponsored by 350.org, demanding our local communities and institutions commit to: 1)A fast + just transition to 100% renewable energy for…

Climate Investment Funds (CIF)

04/29/19
The Climate Investment Funds (CIF) is one of the world’s leading climate finance mechanisms. Founded in 2008, it represents one of the first global efforts to invest in a dedicated climate finance. The CIF emerged…

Fossil Free: Divestment

12/23/19
A full list of divestment commitments.

DivestInvest

12/23/19
Join the global investor movement accelerating the sustainable energy transition

Encourage Capital

12/13/19
Encourage Capital is a new kind of investment firm that seeks to change the way investment capital is used to solve critical environmental and social problems.

Blue Forest Conservation

12/13/19
Financial Innovation for Sustainable Solutions

RAN – Banking on Climate Change

12/13/19
This 10th edition of the annual fossil fuel finance report card, greatly expanded in scope, reveals the paths banks have taken in the past three years since the Paris Agreement was adopted, and finds that…

Entelligent – Predictive Analytics for Smart Climate Investing

12/13/19
Entelligent’s Smart Climate Data and Analytics are a “top down” climate scenario analytics platform of formulas, systems and indices that assess the climate risk of an investment portfolio and provide critical analytics at the individual…

MORE NEWS

What the Inflation Reduction Act Means for Green Energy and EV Stocks

By Sam Taube   08/16/22  
Despite its name, the Inflation Reduction Act is largely a climate spending bill. The bill, signed by President Joe Biden on Aug. 16, represents the largest climate investment in U.S. history, allocating about $370 billion…

Climate First Bank Avoids 36K Tons of Emissions over 25 Years

By Staff Writer  Photo: Climate First Bank   08/03/22  
Climate First Bank financed 2,578.48 kW of renewable energy, which is more than 36,000 tons of CO2 emissions avoided over 25 years, according to Climate First Bank’s first Annual Impact Report The report highlights the…

More Investors Vote Against Corporate Directors Over Climate Change

By Dieter Holger  Photo: Xavier Mascarenas, Reuters   07/21/22  
Investors are increasingly voting against the election of corporate directors to get companies they see as laggards on climate change to raise their ambitions. So far this year, investors have cited climate change as a…
WSJ

Biden’s ESG Tax on Your Retirement Fund

By Alex Acosta and Others  Photo: David Gothard   07/19/22  
BlackRock CEO Larry Fink wrote in 2020 that “sustainable investing is the strongest foundation for client portfolios.” Al Gore said in 2021 that “you don’t have to trade values for value. Green can enhance returns.”…

‘We Want To Keep Plastic Out Of The Environment And In The Economy’

By Jamie Hailstone  Photo: Justin Sullivan , Getty images   07/11/22  
The global packaging company Amcor has joined forces with the Minderoo Foundation for the Sea the Future project, which plans to build a worldwide network of sorting and recycling plants.

Hallelujah, churches have seen the light

By Amy Westervelt   07/10/22  
The Presbyterian Church made a huge announcement this week: it will divest $4-$7 million from fossil fuels entirely. That includes removing its money from five oil companies: Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Marathon Petroleum, Phillips 66 and…

Commissioners approve divestment from five energy companies

By Mike Ferguson   07/06/22  
By a 340-41 margin on Wednesday, commissioners to the 225th General Assembly voted to place five energy companies — Chevron, ExxonMobil, Marathon Petroleum, Phillips 66 and Valero Energy — on the General Assembly Divestment/Proscription List…

Tesla Among Firms Targeted by Investors Over Climate Reporting

By Frances Schwartzkopff   06/29/22  
Tesla Inc. is among a group of companies that’s been criticized by investors with over $31 trillion in assets for failing to disclose their environmental footprints through global reporting standards. Amundi SA, Aviva Plc and…

The Rush to E.S.G., With or Without Elon Musk

By Ron Lieber  Photo: Meghan Marin , The New York Times   06/18/22  
The current gut check comes at a point in the evolution of the investing industry when assets in so-called E.S.G. funds have risen 38 percent in the past year, to $2.7 trillion by the end…

Gensler sees limit to SEC rule on carbon emissions disclosure

By Jim Tyson  Photo: David McNew via Getty Images   06/15/22  
The Securities and Exchange Commission will not require all publicly traded companies to disclose the carbon emissions from their vendors, suppliers and other third parties across their supply chains, but will limit the mandate to…

GM Invests $10 Million in Wind-Energy Start-Up

By AI Root   06/15/22  
GM (ticker: GM) is putting the money—using GM Ventures, or GMV—into Wind Catching Systems, a start-up developing floating offshore wind-power electricity generation systems.

Wall Street firms face W.Va. boycott over alleged fossil fuel bias

By Jordan Wolman  Photo: Michael Virtanen , AP   06/14/22  
BlackRock Inc., Wells Fargo & Co., JP Morgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley, The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and U.S. Bancorp are due to be placed on West Virginia’s Restricted Financial Institution List in 45…

Accelerating toward net zero: The green business building opportunity

By Rob Bland & Others   06/14/22  
A recent McKinsey report found that reaching net zero by 2050 could entail a 60 percent increase in capital spending on physical assets, compared with current levels. The required investments amount to $9.2 trillion per…

Electric Vehicle Investments Provide Benefits Across the U.S.

06/13/22  
This map compiles ZETA research to illustrate EV investments across the country. These private investments are creating tens of thousands of good-paying auto jobs that will reinvigorate communities, generating thousands of additional indirect jobs. And…

Fossil-Fuel Shares Lead the Stock Market. How Awkward.

By Jeff Sommer  Photo: Brian Britigan   06/03/22  
It is no secret that the stock market has been rocky since the start of the year. Tech giants like Apple, Microsoft, Google and Amazon have been no help at all. Their shares have all…

Inside Ithaca’s plan to electrify 6,000 buildings and grow a regional green workforce using private equity funds

By Robert Walton  Photo: Robert Walton/Utilitydive   06/02/22  
Ithaca is known for its progressive politics — in the 90s the city pioneered a time-based currency to inspire local spending, for example. But the decarbonization plan is among its most ambitious efforts, according to…

Bills in blue states target the fossil fuel industry for climate damage

Analysis by Maxine Joselow  Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg News   05/31/22  
Democratic lawmakers in two of the nation's most populous states are pushing legislation to punish the fossil fuel industry for its apparent role in causing droughts, wildfires and other disasters exacerbated by climate change.

Climate pressure from employees, shareholders rattles Big Oil

By Steven Mufson  Photo: Alastair Grant , AP   05/27/22  
Five years ago, Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden sat down for an interview with The Washington Post and said “we believe that climate change is real. We believe that the threat of climate change…

How a Republican effort punishes companies for climate action

By David Gelles and Hiroko Tabuchi  Photo: Kieran Dodds for The New York Times   05/27/22  
Legislators and their allies are running an aggressive campaign that uses public money and the law to pressure businesses they say are pushing “woke” causes.

People in US and UK face huge financial hit if fossil fuels lose value, study shows

By Damien Carrington  Photo: Martin Meissner , AP   05/26/22  
Individuals in rich countries face huge financial losses if climate action slashes the value of fossil fuel assets, a study shows, despite many oil and gas fields being in other countries.

Vanguard refuses to end new fossil fuel investments

By Chris Flood   05/26/22  
Chief executive Tim Buckley said the group, which manages $8.1tn for more than 30mn investors and is the largest investor in coal companies globally, was determined to safeguard its clients from climate risks but this…

Investors reject climate proposals targeting ExxonMobil, Chevron

By Maxine Joselow  Photo: Richard Drew/AP   05/26/22  
Nearly two-thirds of investors in ExxonMobil and Chevron on Wednesday rejected proposals for the oil giants to align their climate strategies with the Paris agreement.

Big Tech is pouring millions into the wrong climate solution at Davos

By Justine Calma  Photo: Dursun Aydemir , Getty Images   05/25/22  
Alphabet, Microsoft, and Salesforce today pledged $500 million to new climate tech that’s supposed to pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere to keep it from heating up the planet. It’s the latest move by…

3 ways to fix ESG ratings to meet investors’ expectations

By Tom Lyon  Photo: Maja Hitij/Getty Images   05/25/22  
ESG ratings agencies typically rate companies against others within their industry, so oil and gas companies are rated separately from automotive companies or technology companies. Exxon stacks up fairly well relative to others in the…

A feud over fossil fuel money

By Manuela Andreoni   05/24/22  
At Stanford University, the question is ringing loud. This month, hundreds of students, faculty members and alumni, in an open letter, called on the university’s new climate school to decline funding from fossil fuel companies.

Inaction on climate change could cost economy $178 trillion: Deloitte

By Deloitte   05/23/22  
Inaction on climate change could cost the economy $178 trillion over the next 50 years, or a 7.6 percent cut to gross domestic product (GDP) in 2070, a research report from Deloitte Center for Sustainable…

HSBC suspends head of responsible investing who called climate warnings ‘shrill’

By Kalyeena Makortoff  Photo: Joe Raedle , Getty Images   05/22/22  
HSBC has suspended a senior banker after he referred to climate crisis warnings as “unsubstantiated” and “shrill” during a conference speech that has since been denounced by the lender’s chief executive. Stuart Kirk, who has…

The Pushback on E.S.G. Investing

By Andrew Ros Sorkin and Others  Photo: Brandon Thibodeaux   05/11/22  
While speaking about energy policy in Texas yesterday, former Vice President Mike Pence, a potential 2024 Republican presidential contender, said he wanted to “rein in” E.S.G., or investing based on environmental, social and governance principles.…

Global ESG standard-setting gains speed

By Jim Tyson  Photo: Justin Sullivan , Getty Images   05/05/22  
Regulators and other standard-setters worldwide are building a consensus behind uniform rules for gauging sustainability that could help CFOs generate credible ESG reports.

The GOP’s New War On Divestment

By Donald Shaw  Photo: Martin Meissner , AP Photo   04/28/22  
Republican state and federal lawmakers, their campaign coffers filled with fossil fuel donations, are quietly building a nationwide effort to pass anti-divestment bills that would punish financial institutions that consider the climate crisis in their…

ESG: The Tidal Wave Hitting Businesses in 2022

By Dean Amhaus  Photo: Clay Banks   03/22/22  
A growing tidal wave hitting businesses can be summarized in three letters – ESG. The environmental, social and governance investing movement may not have fully grabbed the public’s attention – yet – but it is…

Democrats’ climate plan languishes, putting billions in private investment on hold

By Jeff Stein and Steven Mufson  Photo: Mason Trinca for The Washington Post   02/16/22  
The chief executive of a Portland area-based battery company believes his products could play a critical role in fighting climate change, storing the energy produced by wind and solar for hours instead of having it…

Climate investing ‘boycott bills’ flood state capitals

By Zack Colman and Jordan Wolman  Photo: Charlie Riedel , AP   02/15/22  
Texas, West Virginia and Oklahoma are among states moving to bar officials from dealing with businesses that are moving to ditch fossil fuels or considering climate change in their own investments. Those steps come as…

Europe’s biggest banks fund oil and gas firms despite net zero pledges

By Jasper Jolly  Photo: Rodger Bosch/AFP/Getty Images   02/14/22  
Europe’s biggest banks led by HSBC, Barclays and BNP Paribas have provided £24bn to oil and gas companies that are expanding production less than a year since pledging to target net zero carbon emissions, data…

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Invests in Promising Climate Change Solutions

Photo: Twelve   02/10/22  
Today, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) announced $44 million in funding to develop and scale promising technologies to help address climate change as part of an exploration of cutting-edge and emerging solutions, including carbon dioxide…

Divesting works: Study finds ditching fossil stocks lowers corporate footprints

By Rick Spence   02/09/22  
For the leaders of the divestment movement, which encourages institutional investors to sell off their shares in fossil fuel companies, winning isn’t everything. Eroding public support for the sector has been considered valuable work in…

Banking on our future

Photo: Ken Cedeno / Greenpeace   01/29/22  
We want to do something real to protect a livable planet. Money—especially the banks we keep it in—is crucial. Join our pledge.

Clean energy stocks are down but still have their spark

By Scott Patterson  Photo: Preston Jessee/WSJ   01/24/22  
Investors voice confidence that the market will remain healthy, seeing continuing growth amid shifting investor priorities

How NineDot Energy will use $100M to install distributed batteries in NYC

By Jeff St. John   01/21/22  
NineDot Energy has spent the past six years finding ways to work in New York City’s congested and ever-changing distributed-energy market, from analyzing the value of distributed solar to developing and selling megawatt-scale fuel-cell projects…

1 big thing: Wall Street blunts divestment momentum

By Ben Geman, Andrew Freedman  Photo: Megan Robinson/Axios   01/20/22  
Citigroup and BlackRock, two major financial players with far-reaching climate goals, took similar stances this week on divesting from fossil fuel companies. They're against it, at least for now, Andrew writes.

Next 1000 unicorns will be green energy innovators, says BlackRock CEO Larry Fink

By CNBCTV18.com   01/19/22  
With the US witnessing a transition to a green economy, the next wave of successful startups will be those companies that will help make the carbon-free transition affordable, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said.

BlackRock’s Larry Fink tells fellow CEOs that businesses are not ‘climate police’

By Steven Mufson and Douglas MacMillan  Photo: Mark Lennihan/AP   01/18/22  
BlackRock’s Larry Fink defended his firm’s push to hold companies accountable for environmental and social progress after conservative lawmakers claimed the world’s largest asset manager is using its financial might to impose ideological beliefs on…

Energy Ended Up as a Good Bet Last Year. But Now What?

By J. Alex Tarquinio  Photo: Brandon Thibodeaux   01/14/22  
Energy companies defied the odds last year. Despite a pandemic and pressure to phase out fossil fuels to combat global warming, the share prices of major energy companies outshone the rest of the S&P 500.…

Most Agribusinesses and Banks Involved With ‘Forest Risk’ Commodities Are Falling Down on Deforestation

By Georgina Gustin  Photo: Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images   01/13/22  
Many of the world’s biggest banks, financial institutions and companies are not doing enough to stop deforestation, and in many cases are continuing to bankroll forest destruction, undermining efforts to stop a major driver of…

Global exodus from fossil fuel holdings tops 1,500 institutions

By Hiroko Matsumoto  Photo: Reuters   01/05/22  
More than 1,500 pension funds, universities and other organizations around the world have announced that they will divest from fossil fuel assets, doubling from five years earlier and underscoring the surge in sustainable investing.

Climate Justice Through Divestment

By Ray Levy Uyeda  Photo: Erik Mcgregor Via Getty Images   01/04/22  
In recent years, a growing movement to achieve climate justice has connected the root cause of climate change not just with greenhouse gases but also with a more entrenched, insidious foe: capitalism. The United States…

Big numbers – dollars and institutions – behind divestments from fossil fuels

By Kristen Pope   01/04/22  
The Global Fossil Fuel Divestment Commitments Database, maintained by two nonprofit divestiture advocacy groups, Stand.earth and 350.org, tracks institutions that have pledged to divest from fossil fuels fully, partially, or with regard to certain subsets,…

The EV Strategy at Ford Is Winning Buy-In from Investors

By Leone Kaye  Photo: Ford Motors   01/04/22  
While the automakers’ bold pledges to focus on manufacturing electric vehicles (EVs) are so far generating more rhetoric than results, the shift at Ford appears to be strongly resonating with both drivers and investors.

Check out the best- and worst-performing clean energy funds of 2021

By Pippa Stevens  Photo: Kevork Djansezian , Getty Images   12/30/21  
Clean energy stocks came under pressure during 2021 as policy uncertainty, supply chain issues and concerns over stretched valuations weighed on the sector. But some areas within the renewable energy ecosystem still managed to not…
pwc

Climate tech investment more than triples, but is focused on solutions with just 20% of emission reduction potential: PwC study

12/15/21  
Investment from venture capital and private equity is pouring into climate tech, reaching US$87.5bn over H2 2020 and H1 2021, with in excess of US$60bn coming in the first half of 2021 alone. This represents…