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, 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


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By Maria Virginia Olano 06/07/24
Last year was a record year for clean energy investment in the U.S. — and this year is off to an even stronger start.
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The World’s Largest Funder of Fossil Fuel Expansion

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This summer, along with dozens of others, I’ll be helping to run the Summer of Heat on Wall Street, a campaign of sustained nonviolent civil disobedience against the banks, investors, and insurance companies financing fossil…
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By Avery Ellfeldt 05/29/24
One of the nation’s most powerful public pension funds drew attention earlier this year for divesting from fossil fuels — sort of.
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By Alastair Marsh 05/22/24
Electric vehicles have swiftly gone from a rare bright spot in the fight against climate change to a cause for concern.
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Exxon Feels the Heat as More Investors Assail Climate Conduct

By Tim Quinson and Kevin Crowley 05/15/24
Exxon Mobil Corp. is again finding itself in the crosshairs of environment-focused investors who say the company is falling far short of its climate-related commitments.
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Melinda French Gates Exits Foundation With $12.5 Billion

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Melinda French Gates is stepping down as co-chair of the $75 billion foundation she helped run with her former husband, Bill Gates. Her last day will be June 7 and she’ll receive an additional $12.5…
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In a first, Oregon’s Jewish federations pull investments from fossil fuels

By Asaf Elia-Shalev 03/29/24
Oregon’s two Jewish communal federations have decided to divest their endowment funds from the fossil fuel industry due to concerns about the ongoing impact of the climate crisis.
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By Bill Lascher 02/28/24
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Comptroller Tom DiNapoli cuts NY pension investment in more oil, gas stocks

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State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is cutting the state pension fund’s direct investments in eight more oil and gas companies, including ExxonMobil, as part of his plan to combat global warming through Wall Street. DiNapoli argues…
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Comptroller Tom DiNapoli cuts NY pension investment in more oil, gas stocks to combat global warming

By Michael Gormley 02/24/24
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is cutting the state pension fund’s direct investments in eight more oil and gas companies, including ExxonMobil, as part of his plan to combat global warming through Wall Street. DiNapoli argues…
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Opinion: NYC Comptroller Should Fight Climate Change, Not Finance It

By Margaret Perkins and Pete Sikora   02/22/24  
“Blue cities and states have much more pension fund money than red states. As the saying goes, money talks. It’s time for Comptroller Lander to put money that he manages where his mouth is. New…
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Dartmouth students urge college to stop accepting research money from fossil fuel companies

By Mara Hoplamazian   10/24/23  
A group of students at Dartmouth College is calling on the school to stop accepting research money from fossil fuel companies, citing concerns over connections between Irving Oil and the Irving Institute for Energy and…
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Rockefeller Foundation boosts climate funding to $1 billion over five years

By Isla Binnie and Timothy Gardner   09/15/23  
The Rockefeller Foundation will invest $1 billion over the next five years in projects providing poor communities around the world with resources like electric buses, power grids, and ways to practice more sustainable agriculture, its…
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New York University will divest from fossil fuels in win for student activists

By Dharna Noor   09/12/23  
New York University plans to divest from fossil fuels, the Guardian has learned, following years of pressure from student activists.
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US investor group clinches tax credit deal for $1.5 billion renewable power acquisition

Invenergy Renewables, Blackstone and Canada's second-largest pension fund said on Wednesday they struck a deal with Bank of America to help buy wind and solar plants worth $1.5 billion, capitalizing on a new tax structure…
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The richest Americans account for 40 percent of U.S. climate emissions

By Kasha Patel   08/17/23  
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Bankers Hate Saying ‘ESG’ But Are Hardwiring It Into Finance

By Alastair Marsh and Lisa Pham   08/14/23  
Bankers, money managers and other financial market participants are starting to loathe the label “ESG” — but they’re also sticking with the strategy, according to a Bloomberg survey.
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Corporate America is rebranding ESG

By Eleanor Hawkins   08/10/23  
ESG has a PR problem. The term — which refers to a company's environmental, social and governance strategy and investments — has been all but officially stricken from corporate vernacular.
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GOP Effort to Curb ESG Fails to Yield Concrete Results So Far

By Tim Quinson   08/02/23  
For all of the Republican Party’s furious opposition to ESG, its efforts to accomplish something on the legislative front have fallen short.
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Meet Nicole Taylor, the powerful foundation CEO who gives away Silicon Valley’s billions

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IEA celebrates energy transition minerals investment, as fears of shortage lessen

By Reuters and Joe Lo   07/12/23  
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Public Pension Funds Have Lost Billions on Their Fossil Fuel Investments: New Analysis

By Dana Drugmand   06/27/23  
For U.S. public pension funds, divesting from oil, coal, and gas would result in overall higher financial value. That is the key takeaway from a new study examining the past decade’s portfolio performance for several…
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Disaster investing, wildfire edition

By Kia Kokalitcheva   06/24/23  
Since Canada's wildfires shrouded the East Coast with smoke and unhealthy air quality, Convective Capital — a young venture firm solely focused on wildfires — has been getting a lot more calls: from entrepreneurs, limited…
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The Writer Behind ‘Love Actually’ Wants to Green Your Retirement Fund

By Oscar Boyd   06/01/23  
Richard Curtis’s screenwriting hits include Bridget Jones’s Diary and Mr. Bean. Now he’s focused on redirecting retirement savings to climate-friendly companies.
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Exxon Mobil Gives Cold Shoulder to Climate Change Proposals, Claims It’s Not a Break-Up

By Lekha Gupta   06/01/23  
n the AGM yesterday, Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE: XOM) rejected proposals from investor groups that demanded more robust measures to address climate change
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Improving Cost-Benefit Analysis to Catalyse Finance for Climate Adaptation and Resilience

By Harald Heubaum, Bradley Kratzer and Carter Brandon   05/31/23  
There is under-investment in climate adaptation and resilience-building globally, as well as in the G20 countries. Consequently, the significant benefits of such interventions are not realised. Drivers of under-investment include lack of information on risks,…
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How solar investments are powering the ‘net zero’ crusade

By Joel Mathis   05/31/23  
The world has reached a major milestone in the shift from carbon-based fuels to renewable energy: Investment in solar power exceeded the money put into oil development in 2022, CBS News reported. "For every dollar…
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Curbside recycling turns out to be a surprisingly good climate investment

By Sarah DeWeerdt   05/30/23  
Many towns and cities in the U.S. have halted or scaled back their curbside recycling programs in an effort to reduce costs. But this is a misguided approach when it comes to fighting climate change,…
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California State Senate passes CalPERS/CalSTRS fossil fuel divestment bill

By Mary Callahan   05/26/23  
The California State Senate has passed legislation that would require the state’s two powerful public employee pension funds to stop investing in fossil fuel companies. It would also force them to liquidate close to $15…
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Solar investment set to overtake oil production and attract over $1 billion a day in 2023, IEA says

By Anmar Frangoul   05/25/23  
Global investment in energy is slated to hit roughly $2.8 trillion in 2023, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency, with over $1.7 trillion of that set to go on clean energy…
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Scaling up clean energy — the greatest growth proposition of the 21st century

By Steve Howard   05/24/23  
The cost of climate change is rising at an alarming pace, with ripple effects being felt across communities and the global economy. More frequent and extreme weather events, exacerbated by climate change, are disrupting supply…
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Divesting fossil fuels looms larger for more funds

By Hazel Bradford   05/22/23  
As the race toward renewable energy and away from fossil fuels to address climate change heats up, more pension funds may look at divestment, willingly or otherwise.
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Private equity can help fill the gap in financing climate-change fixes

By Liang Yin   05/22/23  
Decarbonizing the global economic machine is as much an engineering challenge as an investment one.
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Bill To Force CalPERS, CalSTRS Divestment from Fossil Fuel Investments Moves To Senate

By Evan Symon   05/19/23  
A bill to phase out fossil fuel investments in the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) state public pension funds was passed in the Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday,…
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Student club, Boston College in ‘antagonistic’ dispute over fossil fuel divestment

By Lily Kepner   05/18/23  
Climate Justice at Boston College has been advocating for the Catholic Jesuit college to divest its endowment from fossil fuels for more than a decade. Members of the registered student organization said their efforts have…
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What it takes to attract private investment to climate adaptation

By Esther Sekyoung Choi, Eunkyung Jang And Valerie Laxton   05/16/23  
Investment in renewable energy reached parity with investment in fossil fuels for the first time in 2022, marking a long-awaited shift toward climate-friendly financial flows. But while reducing emissions is crucial, it is only one…
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Divest, decarbonize and disassociate — inside the bold new push to get fossil fuels off campus

By Nick Engelfried   05/12/23  
From late November through early March of this year, visitors to the University of Washington Career Center in Seattle would have found students sitting in a circle on the floor, some doing homework on laptops…
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Investing in climate change: Private markets key to real impact

By David Seex and Tim Horne   05/11/23  
We see the headlines all the time. Frequent floods, increased droughts – the drastic consequences of climate change for the natural world are evident. Unchecked though, climate change could trigger a matrix of interlinked risks…
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Biden-Harris Administration Awards $12 Million through Investing in America Agenda to Combat Climate Change in the U.S. Territories

During remarks at the Department of the Interior’s Territorial Climate and Infrastructure Workshop in Hawaii today, Assistant Secretary for International and Insular Affairs Carmen G. Cantor and White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda…
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200 and counting – Global financial institutions committed to coal divestment has doubled in three years

By Saurabh Trivedi and Shantanu Srivastava   05/04/23  
In its latest report, IEEFA has found that globally significant financial institutions (FIs) are committing to divesting away from coal at a quicker rate as climate change becomes a priority globally. It took almost six…
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‘WSU must divest now!’ WSU students rally for Fossil Fuel Divestment

By Grey Kamasz   04/24/23  
WSU’s Environmental Sustainability Alliance hosted a climate rally for Fossil Fuel Divestment at Ruby Street Park Saturday to call for action from WSU leaders. ESA members gave speeches on climate change and encouraged WSU students…
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Ahead of Earth Day, 31 faith organizations divest from fossil fuels

By Brian Roewe   04/20/23  
Ahead of Earth Day, 31 faith-based organizations announced they are ending financial investments in fossil fuels for the sake of the planet and the people and creatures who call it home.
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Climate bills on fossil fuel divestment, emissions disclosure make headway

By Ari Plachta   04/19/23  
California lawmakers advanced several climate bills intended to hold companies accountable for pollution contributing to atmospheric warming Tuesday, as opponents questioned whether the measures could make a tangible impact.
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What Happens When Banks Ditch Coal: The Impact Is ‘More Than Anyone Thought’

By Barbara DeLollis   04/18/23  
Consumers who are eager to mitigate climate change can take many actions, such as reducing the number of airline flights they take or installing solar panels on their homes. But the planet is in a…
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Investors Play a Crucial Role in Solving Climate Change

By Sarah Fecht   04/17/23  
“The goal of decarbonizing our society is necessary and urgent. It will demand ingenuity, but also investment,” said Columbia Climate School Founding Dean Alex Halliday during an event in late March. Titled “Financing the Future:…
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Fossil fuel groups hit extra hard by divestment pledges that go viral

Fossil fuel divestment pledges by investors including sovereign wealth funds, trusts and foundations which gain traction on social media
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Businesses face more and more pressure from investors to act on climate change

By Michael Copley   04/09/23  
Every spring, shareholders in publicly-traded companies get to weigh in on how they're run. It's a chance for investors to vote on proposals to shape corporate policies for things like executive pay and political spending.…
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New York City Pensions to Divest Future Private Equity Holdings from Fossil Fuels

By Lilah Burke   04/07/23  
New York City’s chief financial officer announced plans Wednesday to divest the future private equity holdings of two major retirement funds from fossil fuels, making them among the first major public pensions in the nation…
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Tom Steyer to begin net-zero apartment upgrades nationwide

By Olafimihan Oshin   04/05/23  
The investment firm of billionaire philanthropist Tom Steyer is set to begin acquiring and upgrading apartments and buildings across the U.S. in an effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions, according to reports. Bloomberg reported on…
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13 Best Climate Change Stocks To Invest In

By Fahad Saleem   03/30/23  
In this article, we will take a look at the 13 best climate change stocks to invest in. To see more such companies, go directly to 5 Best Climate Change Stocks To Invest In.
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Climate activists target nation’s big banks, urging divestment from fossil fuels

By Michael Copley   03/22/23  
Across the U.S., people protested outside major banks on Tuesday, calling on financial institutions to shift investments away from fossil fuel companies. In Boston, more than 200 people marched from a Chase Bank to a…
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Campaign seeks to encourage fossil fuel divestment among RI municipalities and non-profits

By Steve Ahlquist   03/22/23  
Climate Action RI, an affiliate of, announced a new campaign to encourage institutional divestment from fossil fuels at Providence City Hall Tuesday morning. Aimed at Rhode Island’s 39 cities and towns and the 100…
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Berkshire environmental activists will urge locals to divest from banks with fossil fuel holdings

By Josh Landes   03/16/23  
An environmentalist group is holding a demonstration in Pittsfield, Massachusetts Tuesday calling for people to take their money out of banks with fossil fuel holdings.
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Climate investing: Continuing breakout growth through uncertain times

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The Impact of Climate Change on Women and What Investors Can Do

Climate change and gender equity are both top-of-mind sustainability topics for investors. More than 80% of asset owners surveyed currently invest to combat climate change or plan to do so, while close to half are…
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Private equity investments, climate change and fossil-free portfolios

By Tom Sanzillo   03/01/23  
Opponents of divestment have lately pointed out that institutional fund managers who divest their portfolios of fossil fuels would incur increased complexity and expenses to sell off oil and gas private equity investments. Institutional fund…
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Will UT ever cut ties with fossil fuels?

By Samantha Greyson   02/07/23  
In 1876, the Texas Constitution gifted over two million acres of West Texas land to UT and A&M to support their university endowments. Nearly 50 years later, the Santa Rita No. 1 oil well struck…
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Global Low-Carbon Energy Technology Investment Surges Past $1 Trillion for the First Time

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A Checklist to Tell If Your Portfolio Is Guilty of Greenwashing

By Jacqueline Poh   11/10/22  
The boom in so-called ESG investing has been accompanied by a sharp rise in complaints about greenwashing -- exaggerations or misleading statements about environmental claims. It’s a rise driven by the so-called “greenium” -- the…
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Global Landscape of Climate Finance: A Decade of Data

By Baysa Naran and others   10/27/22  
It has been more than a decade since CPI started comprehensively assessing global climate finance flows through the Global Landscape of Climate Finance (the Landscape). It monitors global primary investment by public and private actors…
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