According to groundbreaking Oxford University research, the fossil fuel divestment movement is growing faster than any other divestment movement and poses major threats to the fossil fuel industry, particularly coal.
In the last couple of years alone, fossil fuel divestment has received support from the likes of Obama, the International Energy Agency, HSBC and Citi and it’s won commitments from 41 institutions including the cities of San Francisco and Seattle and Norway’s largest insurance company.
In their report released this morning, Oxford researchers compared fossil fuel divestment with divestment campaigns against gambling, South African apartheid, tobacco, pornography and armaments. Whilst they found that the direct financial impact of divestment is small, they conclude that the reputational damage caused can cause massive financial damage to fossil fuel companies:
Critically, the report states that this stigmatisation can create the conditions necessary for pursuing vital legislative and political action:
“In almost every divestment campaign we reviewed from adult services to Darfur, from tobacco to South Africa, divestment campaigns were successful in lobbying for restrictive legislation affecting stigmatised firms.”
These findings are a big deal because they show that fossil fuel divestment is fast becoming the game-changer needed to compel political action on climate change.
While the climate clock ticks, the latest IPCC report shows that we still have a small window of opportunity to turn the climate change ship around. But she won’t turn while the industry has a stranglehold on our governments.
To change this, we need you. It takes a social movement to tackle the world’s most powerful industry.
Over the coming months, we’ll be talking divestment with the Big 4 banks and major fossil fuel companies and we’ll be inviting public institutions to put their money where their mouth is.
Here are some ways you can help:
We know that it’s morally wrong to profit from wrecking the planet. Now that message is starting to get heard loud and clear. Let’s keep up the pressure!
Yours in solidarity,
Charlie, Aaron, Blair, Simon and Josh on behalf of 350.org Australia
P.S. checkout some of the latest news from ANU’s divestment campaign, which received coverage in the ABC, The Australian, Canberra Times, Radio National and Triple J over the weekend: ANU’s investment policy under fire, The Australian, Oct. 5. To support Fossil Free ANU’s campaign, consider signing their petition here.