The science is clear. Human emissions of carbon dioxide from burning coal, oil and gas are warming the planet at an alarming rate. On our current trajectory, the upper-limit of 2 degrees Celsius temperature change – which global governments have set as the unbreachable threshold– could be crossed as early as 2036. We have already locked in significant climate changes that will continue to rain hardships on society, particularly the most vulnerable, in the form of violent storms, droughts, sea level rise, heat waves and other temperature extremes.
At the same time, a revolution in clean energy is upon us, with carbon-free energy in the form of sun, wind and water finally competing with fossil fuels on price. The technology to substitute all forms of fossil fuels is not yet complete, but it is within striking distance. Still, governments continue to pour subsidies into fossil fuels and fail to create necessary policy reforms to stem the crisis. Despite the potential, the pace of the transformation pales in comparison to the timetables mandated by the science.
The growth of divestment is adding to mounting pressure globally for governments to make meaningful commitments to transition to clean energy economy. Divestment and investing in clean energy has offered institutions and individuals across the world an opportunity to take direct action on climate. A large and mobilized constituency is now demanding political and financial action on climate, and this pressure will continue to build regardless of the outcome of the negotiations in Paris.
We invite other, prudent investors who seek to protect their financial assets and to create a sustainable, low-carbon world to join us and pledge to Divest and Invest. Together, we are building pressure on negotiators at the upcoming COP21 climate negotiations in Paris and beyond.
* The historical standard for divestment commitments has been a pledge to divest from the top 200 public oil, gas, and coal companies as listed on the Carbon Underground.