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Blog

July 11, 2018

While activists cheered the recent decision by the Church of England to divest from fossil fuel companies, in reality the church’s vote does not call for any immediate action, nor does it commit to actually divesting any of its oil and gas holdings.  The decision is another example of what we like to call “fake …

June 29, 2018

A recent op-ed published by the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment tries to claim that “fossil fuel divestment will not undercut fund performance.” As we all know, this claim is highly flawed. To support their statement, the foundation took the top 10 sectors in the S&P 500 and analyzed how the index …

June 22, 2018

UPDATE:  The Presbyterian Church has once again rejected divestment. From the Pittsburgh Post Gazette: “The legislative body of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted decisively Friday to maintain church investments in fossil-fuel corporations while aggressively advocating for reductions in actions causing climate-warming emissions. The biennial General Assembly, after lengthy debate during its meeting in St. Louis, defeated …

June 20, 2018

This week saw Swarthmore College and Cambridge University both reject fossil fuel divestment, but Salem State—a small liberal arts school in Massachusetts— gained press and activist praise this week for breaking the trend and declaring itself divested this spring.  If you dig a little deeper, however, you will see that Salem State, like Syracuse University, …

June 15, 2018

Says Divestment Would Put Endowment’s Performance “At Risk” In what’s become an almost annual event, Swarthmore College (for the fourth time!) announced it would not divest its endowment from fossil fuels. The announcement came following passage of a non-binding referendum, spearheaded by a climate activism student group, that called for the school to divest and …

June 15, 2018

UPDATE (6/15/18, 11:00 am EST): In a blow to the divestment campaign, Cambridge University has officially rejected fossil fuel divestment “because it needs the yield to finance its academic program.” First reported in the Financial Times last week, this morning the University Council at Cambridge released its full announcement. From Cambridge: “The financial sustainability of the …

June 14, 2018

This week, Divestment Facts responded to the New York City Comptroller’s Request for Information (RFI), from which his office hopes to gather insight into how the city can divest $5 billion in fossil fuel assets during a five-year period in a manner “consistent with fiduciary duty.” Our response, which highlights the findings of numerous professors …

June 8, 2018

Today, Pope Francis’ will hold a meeting with investment and energy executives to discuss climate change and engagement opportunities.  While this meeting is largely focused on engagement, it is not surprising that some pro-divestment activists have used the meeting as an opportunity to tout their campaign and call for broader action.  Let’s take a look …

June 4, 2018

Last week The Wall Street Journal ran an expertly-written opinion piece laying out the many reasons why fossil fuel divestment is a waste of time.  It’s author, Paul H. Tice, is an investment management professional and an adjunct professor of finance at New York University (NYU), a school that rejected fossil fuel divestment in 2016, …

June 1, 2018

This week, just two short years after the University of Massachusetts (UMass) held itself up as “the first major public university to divest its endowment of fossil fuels,” its own Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) released a report concluding that divestment is all but useless.  Written by a Robert Pollen, a distinguished professor of economics …