Green America’s Guide to Fossil Fuel Divestment and Clean Energy Reinvesting
Investing in our Future – Divest from Fossil Fuels Now
By Fran Teplitz, Social Investing Director, Green America
It’s time to stop this madness.” So said Yeb Sano, the Philippines’ lead negotiator at the UN Climate Summit in Warsaw, one week after the strongest typhoon ever to make landfall tore through Sano’s home country, killing 5,000 people, and leaving nearly two million homeless.
“To anyone who continues to deny the reality that is climate change, I dare you to get off your ivory tower and away from the comfort of you armchair,” continued Sano. “I dare you to go to the islands of the Pacific, the islands of the Caribbean and the islands of the Indian Ocean and see the impacts of rising sea levels; to the mountainous regions of the Himalayas and the Andes to see communities confronting glacial floods, [and] to the Arctic where communities grapple with the fast dwindling polar ice caps.”
We could fill the rest of this space with more examples from Sano’s extraordinarily moving speech about the climate, or we could tell you about the hunger strike he has undertaken, in solidarity with his suffering countrymen, to demand climate action now from the world’s governments. But we think that if you’ve picked up this Guide, you’re already convinced that climate change is real, and we want to give you something you can do about it — today.
In the Guide we offer five steps you can take to pull your support from the fossil fuel companies that have built businesses that can succeed only by wrecking the planet:
• Divest your Fossil-Fuel Company Holdings
Sell any holdings in the top 200 companies holding the most fossil-fuel reserves. Call your mutual fund companies and urge them to offer fossil-free options. If they can’t, or won’t, tell them you’ll be shifting your mutual fund investing to a company that offers fossil-free funds.
• Reinvest in Clean Energy and Fossil-Free Products
Buy fossil-free stocks in consultation with your financial planner, invest in fossil-free mutual funds and ETFs, or invest in crowd-sourced solar projects. Find resources inside the Guide.
• Invest in Clean Energy for Your Home and Community
Boost your home’s value by installing clean energy, or look into community solar opportunities, on the rise nationwide.
• Shift Your Bank Accounts and Credit Cards to Institutions that Don’t Invest in Fossil Fuels
Refuse to do business with mega-banks heavily invested in fossil fuels. Move your checking and savings accounts and credit cards to community development banks. Find resources at- https://www.greenamerica.org/break-up-with-your-mega-bank and- http://www.takechargeofyourcard.org
• Support Institutional Divestment Movements
Work with your city, house of worship, university, or other groups that may be invested in fossil fuels. Find ongoing campaigns at- http://gofossilfree.org
“There are both moral and financial reasons for investors to reallocate their assets from oil and gas and into clean energy,” says Elizabeth Glenshaw, a portfolio manager for Clean Yield, a sustainable asset management firm. “Both the science and recent weather-related disasters make it clear that we must move our economy off of fossil fuels as fast as possible.”
We absolutely agree. When we finance fossil fuel companies we guarantee a return on investment that includes uninhabitable coastal cities, extreme storms, famine, water crises, and more. Pulling our investments from dirty energy and reinvesting in a clean energy future is an ethical decision we all can make, for our children and grandchildren, Yeb Sano’s children and grandchildren, and for the future of the planet we all share.
About Green America
Green America’s mission is to harness economic power for a just and sustainable society. We work for a world where all people have enough, where all communities are healthy and safe, and where the abundance of the Earth is preserved for all the generations to come. Our programs grow the green economy, stop corporate abuse, tackle climate change, build fair trading systems, support local communities, and help families and businesses go green. We define “green” to mean social and economic justice, community and environmental health—people and the planet. More information at- www.greenamerica.org