People around the world are pressing their leaders to act on climate change and fueling change on their own.
With U.S. political leadership on climate policy in a shambles, many Americans are taking matters into their own hands. Nearly 400,000 people marched in New York City to call for a stronger response to climate change. Hundreds of thousands more joined this chorus at another 2,800 marches in 166 other countries.
We decided to do our part by igniting some Wall Street heat. Our achievement? Building a platform where people can pledge to divest from assets tied to the old fossil-fueled economy and invest in the emerging new energy economy powered by more sustainable alternatives.
In April, we became the first Divest-Invest Individual signatories. More than 750 people have since joined us, bringing the total volume of pledged assets to over $2.8 billion. Some of us fossil-free investors have small 401k plans while others wield large investment portfolios. A few are famous, including actor Mark Ruffalo and billionaire Tom Steyer. We all share a principled commitment to fossil-free investments for our future.
We’re joining college endowments and other non-profit and private institutions — and increasingly, local governments in a broad-based effort. To date, people and organizations have collectively pledged to move $50 billion out of the top 200 oil, gas, and coal companies and into climate solutions.
This is the kind of people-powered effort that can slow the pace of climate change. We will ramp up as global leaders work out the commitments they’ll make at the next big climate summit — scheduled to take place in Paris at the end of next year.
We’re pressing for real and fast-paced climate solutions so the Paris summit doesn’t lead to the same kind of toothless declaration that the Copenhagen climate summit yielded in 2009.
Additional street heat is emanating from efforts focusing on everything from energy efficiency to building more resilient communities and vibrant local economies.
The global divestment movement already spans some 550 universities, cities, states, and religious institutions across the United States, Canada, Australia, and Europe.
This reach goes even further than that. South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu has embraced it. He’s urging the world to adopt the tactics that brought an end to South Africa’s racist apartheid system against the worst carbon polluters.
“It makes no sense to invest in companies that undermine our future,” he has said. “To serve as custodians of creation is not an empty title; it requires that we act, and with all the urgency this dire situation demands.”
The Divest-Invest movement aims to revoke the social license of fossil fuel industries that obstruct effective policy responses to today’s climate emergency. Together, we’re accelerating the urgently needed redirection of capital toward an array of new energy economy options.
Individual investors don’t need to wait for governments to get their act together to help avert climate catastrophe. You can resolve today to move your dollars out of destructive fossil fuels and into a renewable energy future.
You’ll be making a moral statement by breaking your financial ties with the engine of a dirty economy and taking a smart long-term step by shielding your own investments from future financial risk and volatility.
To finally reach a real turning point in climate policy, each of us needs to fully engage. We all need to let our leaders know that we want to see real climate action, and do what’s within our power to change the current paradigm.
We hope our leaders get the message. In the meantime, everyone can put their money where their mouth is — as individual investors, students and alumni of higher education institutions, members of religious institutions, and stakeholders in local governments.
Briefly, we wanted to update you on where Truthout stands this month.
To be brutally honest, Truthout is behind on our fundraising goals for the year. There are a lot of reasons why. We’re dealing with broad trends in our industry, trends that have led publications like Vice, BuzzFeed, and National Geographic to make painful cuts. Everyone is feeling the squeeze of inflation. And despite its lasting importance, news readership is declining.
To ensure we stay out of the red by the end of the year, we have a long way to go. Our future is threatened.
We’ve stayed online over two decades thanks to the support of our readers. Because you believe in the power of our work, share our transformative stories, and give to keep us going strong, we know we can make it through this tough moment.
At this moment, we have 24 hours left in our important fundraising campaign, and we still must raise $19,000. Please consider making a donation today.