Divestment laws to ban investments of public money in unethical practices, which harm present and future generations, in order to ensure that our today’s savings do not harm us tomorrow.
Investment in unethical practices, such as the fossil fuel industry or weapons manufacture, is leading us towards an increasingly insecure future. Despite an increase in public understanding of the consequences of climate change, large amounts of money continue to be invested in funds that are likely to harm future generations through irreversible environmental damage and human insecurity. Recently, even the financial return of such investments is being called into question as increasingly risky – if we are to prevent global warming extending beyond our agreed two degree (°c) target, then 80% of declared reserves must remain in the ground as ‘stranded assets.’
Rather than investing against our future, policy-makers must take urgent action to divest from harmful practices. Divestment encourages the withdrawal of such investments as a form of direct action against ‘business-as-usual.’ The eventual goal is to reduce carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels and to redirect investment in arms manufacturers through the impact of realigned corporate financing for the safeguarding of our economic and ecological wellbeing. Alternative investments which do not harm us at all are already available. For example, by investing in renewable energy over fossil fuels, not only are we reducing the environmental consequences of incessant pollution and climate change but also fostering a new sustainable global economy where capital is securely allocated into assets which will instead improve our shared future.
Pioneering policy solutions for divestment do exist. Institutions, from universities to pension funds, have already begun their commitment to re-directing their investments into assets which will not harm our future. Divestment therefore lays the path towards a financial return which is not at the cost of future generations.
Global Divestment Day: 13-14 February
Fossil Free: "The fossil fuel industry is both fueling the climate crisis and blocking serious action. On Global Divestment Day, we will call on our institutions -- our schools, our governments, our banks and our places of worship -- to divest from destruction. Each act of divestment takes back power from fossil fuel companies and helps create a mandate for our leaders to take real action."