Measuring the Global Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement

Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 11.43.27 am From Arabella Advisors:  The global movement to divest from fossil fuels has mobilized billions of dollars in capital and engaged a broad segment of society to accelerate the just transition to a clean-energy economy. As of September 19, 2014, (and prior to the Rockefeller announcement) 181 institutions and local governments and 656 individuals representing over $50 billion1 in assets have pledged to divest from fossil fuels. These institutions and individuals come from a diverse range of sectors and backgrounds, including universities, faith-based organizations, philanthropies, health-care providers, local governments, and NGOs.

The movement to divest from fossil fuels and invest in clean alternatives has gained remarkable speed. It was born in 2011 on just half a dozen college campuses where the students called on their administrations to divest endowments from coal and other fossil fuels. Today, a diverse group of students, philanthropies, and grassroots and environmental organizations from around the globe are driving the movement. Since January 2014, the number of commitments by campuses, churches, cities, states, hospitals, pension funds, and other institutions—both in the United States and abroad—have more than doubled, from 74 to 181. Since seventeen foundations controlling nearly $1.8 billion committed to divest in January, the number of divesting philanthropic organizations has swelled to 71, representing $4.2 billion in assets. In addition, eleven leading environmental organizations have also pledged to divest (see appendix for a full list), totaling over $725 million in assets. The movement has also grown to include a diverse group of individuals. The inaugural cohort of individual pledges boasts over $2.5 billion in assets.

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