Fossil Fuel Divestment – Could This Be Our Strongest Weapon In The War Of Climate Change?

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What is Divestment?

In finance and economics, divestment or divestiture is the reduction of some kind of asset for financial, ethical, or political objectives or sale of an existing business by a firm. A divestment is the opposite of an investment. ~ Wikipedia

Divestment is a simple way for us all to make a change in our economic climate. It involves taking money away from the companies involved in extracting fossil fuels.

The video clip below explains how Divestment could be used with great success to encourage companies to STOP BURNING and leave fossil fuels in the ground.

The only way that many companies will ever change their behaviours for the good of the planet is through political pressure. We can continue to spread the word on organisations that put their profits before the greater good, by continuously using our limited resources, extracting and burning fossil fuels rather than looking for an alternative. Then we can all make an active and informed choice about the companies that we invest with.


If you do not purchase shares you may think that you are not able to use your money to make a difference through divestment, but you could be wrong. Investments of different kinds, including stocks and bonds including pensions will usually be ploughed into various organisations on your behalf. You can decide if there are companies that you wish to boycott from your portfolio. You may realise that you have had shares in a company, with practices that you absolutely disagree with.

Divestment is an opportunity to move our money away from the problem of extracting fossil fuels, and towards the solution. We can shame companies into changing their behaviour for the good of us all.

Divestment and Apartheid

It was a tactic used in South Africa, suggested by Nelson Mandela during Apartheid. By the mid-1980s, 155 campuses had divested from companies doing business in South Africa. 26 state governments, 22 counties, and 90 cities removed their investments from multinational organisations that did business in the country. Eventually, public pressure lowered targeted companies’ stock prices and they were left with no option but to comply with the activists’ demands.The campaign helped play a part in ending the Apatheid era, paving the way for democracy and equality. Although a study conducted in 1999 suggested that Divestment did not visibly affect the financial standing of the companies that were targeted.

Despite the prominence and publicity of the boycott and the multitude of divesting companies, the financial markets’ valuations of targeted companies or even the South African financial markets themselves were not easily visibly affected. The sanctions may have been effective in raising the public moral standards or public awareness of South African repression, but it appears that financial markets managed to avoid the brunt of the sanctions.

Global Divestment Day

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