The global divestment movement from fossil fuels to alternatively invest in climate solutions reached a major milestone as total assets pledged to divestments reached $11 trillion, a new report from the Divest Invest Global Movement said.
The report, $11T and Counting: New Goals for a Fossil-free World, showed the rapidly accelerating pace of divestment commitments throughout the world.
While it took two years to shift the first $2 trillion in terms of divestment decisions, the most recent $2 trillion divestment has taken under six months, the report showed.
The divestment of $11 trillion represents approximately 16% of the total value of global equity markets in 2018, according to World Bank statistics.
Assets committed to divestment have leapt from $52 billion in 2014 to more than $11 trillion today, with a huge increase of approximately 22,000%, according to the report.
Over 1,110 institutions have now committed to policies blacklisting coal, oil and gas with these including sovereign wealth funds, banks, global asset managers and insurance companies, cities, pension funds, health care organizations, universities, faith groups and foundations.
Highlights include institutions as diverse as Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the British Medical Association, Amundi Asset Management, Caisse des Depots, New York City, the City of Cape Town, KfW Group, Stockholm University, the Tate museums in the U.K., Allianz Insurance, and St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh - the first cathedral in the world to divest.
Globally, more than 170 faith institutions stepped away from fossil fuels while 22 more faith-based organizations are to announce their divestment from them at the global divest-invest summit - Financing the Future Summit - that will be held on Sept. 10 and 11 in Cape Town.
- 'People power is winning'
“The struggle for climate justice is a struggle for fundamental human rights. Every person facing deeper levels of drought, stronger hurricanes or conflict has been wronged by these fossil fuel companies,' Kumi Naidoo, secretary general of Amnesty International, and one of the faith-based institutions that will announce divestment from fossil fuels at the summit, was quoted as saying in the press statement of the report.
'Their rights to health, water, food, housing, and even life have been harmed, which is why Amnesty International has decided to divest from fossil fuel companies. This ensures that human rights and working towards clean renewable energy for all is at the forefront of the climate justice conversation,” Naidoo said.
The Global Catholic Climate Movement and the international movement to stop fossil fuels, 350.org, are also among the institutions planning to announce their divestment from fossil fuels.
“Millions of people are confronting the rising hunger, sickness, and conflict that comes with a warming world, and faith institutions are responding with the clarity this crisis demands. We're divesting from fossil fuels, proving that greed will never triumph over love,” said Tomas Insua, executive director of the Global Catholic Climate Movement in the statement.
“These numbers are strong indicators that people power is winning. We would not have smashed our divestment targets without the thousands of local groups who have pressured their representatives to pull out of fossil fuels,” said Ahmed Mokgopo, divestment campaigner for 350.org, said in the statement.
By Nuran Erkul Kaya