Investors, institutions divesting in fossil fuel stocks

Global Business

It started on college campuses and has spread to non-profits and beyond. More institutions and individual investors are removing fossil fuel-related stocks from their portfolios.

CGTN’s Karina Huber looks at what’s driving the divestment.

Investors, institutions divesting in fossil fuel stocks

Investors, institutions divesting in fossil fuel stocks

It started on college campuses and has spread to non-profits and beyond. More institutions and individual investors are removing fossil fuel-related stocks from their portfolios. CGTN’s Karina Huber looks at what’s driving the divestment.
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Divesting from fossil fuels started as a rallying cry among environmentalists on American college campuses in 2011, but has since morphed into much more than just a question of ethics.

According to a new report, it now includes around 700 institutions and nearly 60,000 individuals in 76 countries-all committed to ridding themselves of all, or some, fossil fuel stocks.

Universities, foundations and faith-based organizations were the first to divest, but increasingly for-profit institutions are getting on board.

In 2015, Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, committed to selling off its coal investments worth an estimated $8 billion.

Pension funds in the U.S. and abroad have made similar commitments.

“In terms of what’s driving this, we believe the Paris climate agreement and the commitment by world leaders to a carbon constrained economy has significantly increased the riskiness of fossil fuel investments,” Ryan Strode, Director, Arabella Advisors said.

Strode said the climate agreement increases the likelihood of so-called “stranded assets”-fuel reserves that can’t be burned if a nation needs to cut emissions. That could cut profits for big energy companies, and put little ones out of business.

The divestment from fossil fuels movement hopes to encourage investment in renewables and there appears to be a sound business argument for that, too. Renewables are the fastest growing energy source in the world.