22

Sep

2015

Fossil free divestment passes $2.6T as Leonardo DiCaprio takes the pledge

 

Global moves to switch investments from fossil fuels to clean energy received a major boost today, when actor, Hollywood A-lister and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio, announced he and his charitable foundation had committed to disinvest.

DiCaprio made the announcement today at a press conference in New York where he joined faith leaders and Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, for the release of a new report on the scale and pace of what is now a global campaign to disinvest from fossil fuels.

The report by Arabella Advisors shows that pledges to disinvest have now passed $2.6 trillion dollars. Researchers also found that in excess of 400 institutions and 2000 individuals have pledged to make the switch.

As striking is the rate at which new organisations are signing up. The report found that in the last year there has been a 50 fold increase in commitments to disinvest.

Speaking at the event today, Leonardo DiCaprio said, “After looking into the growing movement to divest from fossil fuels, and invest in climate solutions, I was convinced to make the pledge on behalf of myself and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.”

Christiana Figueres who joined the launch via video link, has long been advocating for investors to move funds from fossil fuels to clean energy in order to meet the $1trillion-a-year target for clean energy investment. Today she reiterated the point by saying that investing at scale in clean, energy efficient power offers one of the clearest ‘no regret’ choices ever presented to human progress.

There was also support from Rev. Fletcher Harper, Executive Director of GreenFaith who said “Pope Francis told us this past June, in his encyclical, that the earth is a gift from God and that we are responsible for protecting it. The pace of fossil fuel divestment within faith communities worldwide, combined with the growing commitment to investing in clean energy, particularly for the world’s poor, show that the world’s spiritual and moral leaders grasp the urgency of the climate crisis and are ready to act”

The increasing focus on reinvestment and the opportunites for creating fossil free investment portfolios for UK funds will be explored further in a joint conference we are running with the Quakers, in London on 17th October. Open to all it will be of particular interest to those with responsibility for managing finances at a local, circuit or diosesan level.

Further details about the event and how to sign up are here.