In another major announcement ahead of this week’s UN Climate Summit, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund – an $860 billion foundation – is divesting from fossil fuels.
While John D. Rockefeller built his vast fortune from oil, his heirs are abandoning it and will be out of tar sands and coal-related stocks by the end of the year. They are re-investing in renewable energy, efficiency and other low carbon stocks.
Besides being the morally right thing to do, the foundation is concerned that fossil fuel companies have an uncertain economic future as they invest billions in pulling more out of the ground than the earth’s climate can afford.
They have long supported environmental issues and see divestment as the next step along this path.
49 other foundations joined Rockefeller today in announcing divestments from 200 major oil and gas companies.
"This is a threshold moment as the movement goes from a small activist band into the mainstream," Ellen Dorsey, executive director of the Wallace Global Fund, told the NY Times. Wallace is helping foundations detach from fossil fuels in their portfolios.
Rockefeller joins 181 institutions in transferring fossil investments to low carbon alternatives – including
philanthropies, religious organizations, pension funds, universities, cities and towns, as well as 650 wealthy individuals. Divestments now add up to more than
$50 billion, according to Arabella Advisors, which tracks the movement: