Why fossil fuel divestment is key to climate progress

Bill McKibben has another must-read post in Rolling Stone. This time the 350.org founder and climate activist explains the strategic logic of pressuring universities to divest from the fossil fuel industry.

The logic of divestment couldn't be simpler: if it's wrong to wreck the climate, it's wrong to profit from that wreckage. The fossil fuel industry, as I showed in Rolling Stone last summer, has five times as much carbon in its reserves as even the most conservative governments on earth say is safe to burn – but on the current course, it will be burned, tanking the planet. The hope is that divestment is one way to weaken those companies – financially, but even more politically. If institutions like colleges and churches turn them into pariahs, their two-decade old chokehold on politics in DC and other capitals will start to slip.

Read the rest for more on why this fight is so important.

Joe Romm at Climate Progress thinks the campaign is even good news for investors:

The good news is that:

1. Divestment would likely have no significant penalty on portfolio return.
2. Divestment would hedge against the inevitable collapse of the market capitalization of fossil fuel companies when the world wakes up to climate reality.
3. The money would be far better invested in colleges’ own green improvements, which have a high return and very low risk.

With both the moral high ground and smart investments on your side, it looks like the climate movement is going to keep gaining momentum. Visit 350.org for ways you can help.

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