A relatively young green movement has taken the world by storm, demanding that public interest institutions divest their holdings from fossil fuel stocks. Originating in the US, chapters have opened up in more than 100 cities and 300 campuses around the country; it has even crossed the Atlantic to the UK where it is known as “Fossil Free UK”.
Launched just six months ago, already four US colleges have pledged to divest their endowments from fossil fuel stocks and bonds, and at the end of April 10 US cities also signed up to the idea, promising similar commitments.
The Go Fossil Free movement states: “If it is wrong to wreck the climate, then it is wrong to profit from that wreckage. We believe that educational and religious institutions, city and state governments, and other institutions that serve the public good should divest from fossil fuels.”
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The intent is a good one, but the statement misses a rather important, and possibly obvious, target, environmental organisations. They spend billions every year trying to cut carbon emissions, and slow the effects of global warming, but where exactly do they make that money? It would seem obvious that pro-green groups would want to ensure that the money they use to save the planet was not generated in a way that dooms the planet.
But then maybe the environmental organisations are in no hurry to renounce their fossil fuel investments. Some of the largest and most powerful environmental organisations have long been funded by the fossil fuel sector, even so much as deliberately leading the climate movement down dead ends such as; carbon trading, carbon offsets, and the idea of using natural gas as a bridge fuel, all creating an illusion of progress whilst really allowing the fossil fuel companies to continue business as normal.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com