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Blog

July 29, 2015

A new study from the Commonfund Institute and the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) has some bad news for the divestment movement: schools have almost no interest in divesting from fossil fuels. The study surveys 200 colleges and universities in the United States to discover their attitudes and policies on a range of “responsible investing” …

July 22, 2015

A special MIT issue committee charged with ensuring the prestigious school remains a leader in the fight to address climate change released a report earlier this summer rejecting blanket fossil fuel divestment, finding divestment to be a “polarizing” and unnecessarily complicated approach to dealing with the issue. The report, “MIT and the Climate Challenge” is …

July 13, 2015

Two longtime and respected reporters with the New York Times recently raised significant concerns over (and outright disapproval of) The Guardian’s fossil fuel divestment campaign, saying it has the potential to undermine the credibility of climate change coverage and hinder efforts to address global warming. Andrew Revkin, author of the Dot Earth blog hosted by …

July 10, 2015

Thursday night’s panel discussion hosted by Columbia University, billed as a high-level discussion on fossil-fuel investments in a carbon-constrained world, included surprisingly little discussion on the topic of fossil fuel divestment, as well as a noticeable lack of students — especially from Columbia. Sitting right there in the audience ourselves, we couldn’t help but leave with …

July 2, 2015

Last month, The New York Times published a fairly balanced report taking a closer look at what fossil-fuel divestment proponents are actually trying to accomplish with their campaigns, stipulating at the start that the effort isn’t really about trying to affect the valuations of the companies being targeted. Of course, not all divestment activists concede …

June 16, 2015

Last week, the activist-aligned capital management firm Green Century held a webinar for its clients and supporters to discuss how divesting from fossil-related energy firms could impact the performance of portfolios. It’s an interesting topic, for sure – and one that’s been the focus of a good bit of research and scholarship lately, including the …

June 8, 2015

Remember last fall when the heirs to the Rockefeller fortune announced their decision to divest their financial holdings of companies that produce fossil fuels? Given the history of the Rockefeller family, of course, the announcement was treated as a massive news event by the Washington Post, New York Times and others, with lead divestment activist …

May 27, 2015

Add Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe to the long list of climate advocates opposing fossil fuel divestment. In a forum last month sponsored by The New Republic called “The Next Frontier of Climate Change,” Gov. McAuliffe spent almost the entire 30 minutes talking up his efforts to address climate change. But when he was also asked …

May 21, 2015

A recent “private note” to clients prepared by a team of Hong Kong-based “climate change strategists” from international financial services firm HSBC is being held up by divestment proponents as proof that the bank is “hopping on the divestment train,” with news of the announcement being seized on by Time Magazine, various activist blogs and …

May 20, 2015

The same “news” outlet that brought you the “Keep It in the Ground” campaign, which seeks to “delegitimise the business models of companies” that produce and deliver the energy supplies needed to run the international economy, has been caught red-handed accepting ad dollars (or pounds sterling) from some of the same companies its campaign is …