HomeIndustry SectorsFinance and PolicyGlobal divestment in fossil fuels climbs to $5.2tn

Global divestment in fossil fuels climbs to $5.2tn

“It’s clear the transition to a clean energy future is inevitable, beneficial and well underway, and that investors have a key role to play,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said on Monday.

This statement comes after it was announced that the amount of committed funds for fossil fuel divestment has doubled over the last year and has now reached $5.2 trillion, Climate Action reported.

Ellen Dorsey, from the philanthropic Wallace Global Fund, said: “$5 trillion in five years is a stunning and unprecedented figure… It represents a growth the fossil fuel industry would envy.”

According to Climate Action, 80% of current fossil fuel divestment funds are now being managed by commercial investment and pension funds.

Divestment on the rise

Ban Ki-Moon said: “I commend today’s announcement that a growing number of investors are backing a shift away from the most carbon-intensive energy sources and into safe, sustainable energy… Investments in clean energy are the right thing to do and the smart way to build prosperity for all, while protecting our planet.”

Lou Allstadt, a former Senior Executive at Mobil Oil, also said: “Divestment is speeding up the clock on the final accounting that will show fossil fuels are out and clean energy is in.”

According to a new report by Arabella investment advisors for the DivestInvest coalition, 76 different countries, 688 institutions and more than 58,000 individuals have committed to divest from fossil fuels, including major associations such as Allianz and Aegon.

The report states that around $400 billion out of the total $5.2 trillion is in coal, oil and gas, Climate Action highlighted.

May Boeve, Executive Director of climate organisation 350.org, said: “As the hottest year in history comes to a close, the success of the global fossil fuel divestment movement is undeniable…

“Divestment has permeated every sector of society: from universities and pension funds, to philanthropic and cultural institutions, to cities, faith groups, insurance companies and more.”

Executive Director of Carbon Tracker Initiative, Mark Campanale, said: “The financial markets are fast losing faith in the investment case for fossil fuels.

“A technological revolution is underway in the energy and transportation sectors [and] financial market regulators stand ready to move from rhetoric to tough action on climate risk management.”

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.