Rockefellers to abandon fossil fuels in switch to clean energy – Climate Action Programme

25 September 2014
Heirs to the Rockefeller family will sell investments in the fossil fuel industry and reinvest in renewable energy in a bid to combat climate change.

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund joined a coalition on Monday of around 650 individuals and 180 institutions that pledged to rid themselves of more than US$50 billion (£31 billion) in fossil fuel assets.

The fund, separate from the larger Rockefeller Foundation, manages assets of around US$860 million, and the divestment effort could act as an example to other originations and boost global environmental efforts.

Stephen Heintz, president of the fund, said: “We are immediately divesting from coal and tar sands, the most carbon intensive fuels…It’s not a huge economic lever, but it does begin to send financial signals and it brings visibility to the issue. This is like a snowball, and it’s going to get more and more mass as it rolls forward.”

The fund, based in New York City and created in 1940, will assess how to cut other fossil fuel investments while boosting renewable energy companies.

Students and activist investors are backing the divestment effort to persuade foundations, corporations, universities among others to divest from the 200 companies with the largest share of coal and oil resources.

John D Rockefeller (pictured above right) accessed the oil resources of Texas and California in the late 19th century and founded Standard Oil, a company that spawned Exxon, Chevron, Amoco and Mobil.

Heintz said that if Mr Rockefeller was still alive he would be willing to move away from the fossil fuel industry.

Heintz said: “We are quite convinced that if he were alive today, as an astute businessman looking out to the future, he would be moving out of fossil fuels and investing in clean, renewable energy”.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

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