On 11 December, Bill McKibben – world-renowned author, environmentalist and activist, and co-founder of campaign group 350.org – joined a panel at the Cites & Regions Pavilion at COP21 to discuss the global divestment movement.
350.org is one of the organizations at the forefront of the movement, which urges universities, businesses, cities and nations to stop investing money in companies that produce and distribute fossil fuels.
McKibben described how the divestment movement had grown at an extraordinary rate, with over USD3.4 billion divested since the beginning. He also emphasized the importance of cities, stating:
“Cities are great accelerators as they are smaller than nation states and can move faster, but they are big enough to matter and make a big difference.”
McKibben said that city leaders are increasingly receptive to the divestment argument:
“You’re investing lots in climate change adaptation; why are you investing in companies that are making it all necessary?”
Presentations were also given by May Boeve, Executive Director of of 350.org; Dr. Jeremy Legett, founder of Solarcentury; Clara Vondrich, Global Director, DivestInvest Philanthropy; and Yunus Arikan, Head of Global Policy and Advocacy, ICLEI.