Reversing funding for these oil and coal companies is called ‘fossil fuel divestment’, and it’s a movement that started on college campuses. Because of their diligent work, trillions of dollars will be taken back from these purveyors of dirty energy.
The exact number is $2.6 trillion in pledged divestment from over 2,000 individuals and 400 organizations, as reported by Arabella Advisors. This firm consults with philanthropists to help them find where their money can help the most.
Just one year ago, the divestment from fossil fuel companies was only $50 billion.
Back in 2011, student groups at a few different colleges began to lobby their schools to withdraw their investments in oil, gas and coal companies. Now, 40 schools have made pledges, as well as other institutions including state governments, churches, celebrities, and medical organizations.
It is getting easier to convince all these different people and organizations to reverse their investments, and it’s not just a desire to address climate change. Stocks in oil, gas ad coal have dropped in value as the price of oil continues to remain low. Many investors believe they are no longer an investment that will make money in the long run.
The fossil fuel industry itself cliams that the $2.6 trillion figure is greatly exaggerated, and it is true that companies have not yet actually lost that much money. However, divestment is a long-term goal and it can take up to five years to start seeing real results.
Problems keep accumulating for the oil and gas industry, though, so the divestment will hopefully act as an additional pressure to explore more popular, cleaner options