Divesting from Fossil Fuels is Advised Due to Climate Change

by admin on January 8, 2019

Banking with Aspiration makes good dollars and sense!

Divestment is now considered a ‘material risk’ by fossil fuel industries

From an Article by Sami Grover, Treehugger Blog, December 19, 2018

It’s been amazing to watch how the fossil fuels divestment movement has grown in a few short years. When Harvard students voted to divest back in 2012, for example, the conversation was mostly about undermining Big Energy’s social license to operate. A year later, when Bill McKibben made the case for divestment he focused mostly on the idea of churches, universities and other symbolic institutions making these companies ‘pariahs’.

Now, in honor of the 1,000th institution signing up to divest (bringing the total value to nearly $8 trillion), Bill McKibben has an excellent update on the state of the movement over at The Guardian. While the symbolism of all this still matters, says the maestro, it’s also becoming clear that divestment has become a very real financial force in and of itself:

Peabody, the world’s biggest coal company, announced plans for bankruptcy in 2016; on the list of reasons for its problems, it counted the divestment movement, which was making it hard to raise capital. Indeed, just a few weeks ago analysts at that radical collective Goldman Sachs said the “divestment movement has been a key driver of the coal sector’s 60% de-rating over the past five years”. [...] Now the contagion seems to be spreading to the oil and gas sector, where Shell announced earlier this year that divestment should be considered a “material risk” to its business.

Indeed, no sooner does McKibben write this piece than Cleantechnica reports that Westmoreland, the 6th largest coal company in the US, is filing for bankruptcy too.

True, divestment is hardly the only reason certain fossil fuel companies are in trouble. 42% of coal plants are losing money already, and that figure is only going to get worse as renewables get cheaper and polluting gets more expensive. Similarly, Big Oil may not be sweating the Tesla Model 3 just yet, but there’s a growing list of diverse threats that could soon converge to put a dent in demand.

And that’s the thing: Incumbents seem invincible until one day they are not. And anyone who knows anything about climate change is beginning to realize that there is no sane, sustainable or morally justifiable version of the future in which we continue to burn fossil fuels any longer than we have to. As Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, has said: Most fossil fuels are unburnable. And that makes them basically worthless.

Investors would do well to take note.


Greeting in the New Year, from Aspiration, January 4, 2019

It’s Day 4 of sticking to your New Year’s resolutions. How are things going so far?

We can’t help you cut back on sugary drinks or screen time, but if “do more good” and “save more money” made your 2019 list, that’s something we can help with.

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Greedy people have reason to smile these days, but you can fight back: You can move your money to fossil-fuel free banking products with Aspiration. Imagine hundreds of thousands of Americans leaving the Big Banks behind. It’ll wipe the smiles off their faces faster than the president can tweet something ridiculous.

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Aspiration puts an extra $300 a year in the average person’s pocket compared to their current Big Bank. It’s FDIC-insured, has zero ATM fees worldwide, no overdraft fees, and offers a whopping 1.00% APY interest (that’s up to 100x Big Bank rates). That means your 2019 earnings will end up in your pockets, not your bank’s profits.


Resolution #3: Make the world a better place for everyone

The Aspiration Impact Measurement app helps you spend to match your values at companies that treat their people and the planet well. We also have fossil-fuel free investment options and commit to donating 10% of their earnings back to charity.


Helping people do well and do good—that’s Aspiration’s resolution this year, and every year. Let us help you with yours. Join the hundreds of thousands of people who are making the switch to Aspiration.

Thank you, Andrei Cherny, Founder & CEO, Aspiration


NOTE: Amalgamated Bank embraces socially responsible causes

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Duane Nichols January 15, 2019 at 12:17 am

The CEO of Interface, Jay Gould, will be joining Satya Tripathi, Assistant Secretary-General, UN Environment on stage at the 7th Responsible Business Summit New York [March 18-19] to discuss how business can achieve growth while providing a net-positive impact on the environment.

This event will be 2019’s must-attend event for professionals looking to learn new ideas and strategies on how their business can take the lead in shaping the future of [sustainable] business.

Over 500 delegates will attend and 80+ senior level speakers including:
James F. Kenny, Mayor, City of Philadelphia
Satya Tripathi, assistant secretary-general, UN Environment
John Kern, SVP, supply chain operations, Cisco
Jay Gould, CEO, Interface
Kurt Summers, treasurer, City of Chicago
Judy Cotte, vice president & head, corporate governance & responsible investment, RBC Global Asset Management
Anne Van Riel, head of sustainable finance Americas, ING
Jostein Solheim, executive vice president, F&R, Unilever
Marilyn Ceci, director, head of green bonds, JP Morgan
Andy Pharoah, vice president, corporate affairs, strategic initiatives & sustainability, Mars
Jennifer Holmgren, CEO, LanzaTech
Virginie Helias, vice president global sustainability, P&G
Tom Murray, vice president, EDF
Jon Mitchell, Mayor, City of New Bedford
Michael Garland, assistant comptroller – corporate governance and responsible investment, New York City Comptroller
Hervé P. Duteil, managing director, CSO, Americas, BNP Paribas
Ernesto Ciorra, chief innovability officer, Enel


Jake Johnson January 21, 2019 at 12:18 am

Global Divestment Movement Celebrates Milestone: 1,000 Institutions With Nearly $8 Trillion in Assets Have Vowed to Ditch Fossil Fuels

By Jake Johnson, EcoWatch.com, December 13, 2018

While the COP24 climate talks are at risk of ending without a concrete plan of action thanks in large part to the Trump administration’s commitment to a dirty energy agenda, environmental groups on Thursday celebrated a major milestone in the global movement to take down the fossil fuel industry after the number of public and private institutions that have vowed to divest from oil, gas and coal companies surpassed 1,000.

“When this movement started in 2012, we aimed to catalyze a truly global shift in public attitudes to the fossil fuel industry, and people’s willingness to challenge the institutions that financially support it,” May Boeve, executive director of 350.org, said in a statement. “While diplomats at the U.N. climate talks are having a hard time making progress, our movement has changed how society perceives the role of fossil fuel corporations and is actively keeping fossil fuels in the ground.”

According to 350, the institutions that have committed to divesting from fossil fuels hold nearly $8 trillion USD in combined assets. The 1,000th institution to vow to divest was Caisse des dépôts et consignations (CDC), which manages France’s public sector savings, pensions and investments.

Coinciding with the new milestone, 350.org published a new report (detailing the rapid growth of the fossil fuel divestment movement over the past several years as climate science has made clear the necessity of immediately and boldly slashing carbon emissions to avoid global devastation.

“Since 2012, the fossil fuels divestment campaign has grown faster than any previous divestment movement,” the report notes. “From 181 institutions and $50 billion worth of assets committed to divestment at the end of 2013 to now more than 1,000 institutions with over $7.9 trillion in assets committed to divest from fossil fuels, we are slamming on the brakes of fossil fuel expansion.”

“Momentum for divestment has only accelerated: pledges span 37 countries with over 65 percent of commitments coming from outside the United States, and now include major capital cities, mainstream banks and insurance companies, massive pension funds, faith groups, cultural, health and educational institutions—the institutions serving billions of people,” the report continues.

“This is a major milestone for the movement for a just transition to a zero carbon, sustainable future for everyone,” added Ric Lander, divestment campaigner for Friends of the Earth. “Behind almost every one of these commitments is a group of committed people fighting for climate action and they should be proud of their achievements. They’ve persuaded, protested and brought the inarguable evidence of their case to decision makers and won them over.”

With the 1,000 institution landmark reached, 350 said the global movement’s next ambitious goal is 2,020 divestments totaling $12 trillion in combined assets by 2020.

“For those investors who persist in engaging with the fossil fuel industry, despite mounting evidence of its failure to achieve anything, we ask them to change tack as the science and justice demands in this moment,” 350′s report concluded. “If companies are not on track to keep their reserves in the ground or play their part in meeting the 1.5°C target, investors must walk away. The clock is ticking on multiple carbon bombs around the world as we approach 2020.”



ADMIN January 31, 2019 at 5:05 pm

To Our Friends & Concerned Citizens …….. 1/31/19

Resistance is about more than the voting booth, the campaign contribution, or the protest march. That’s only the beginning. Real change doesn’t happen until you move your money.

In Donald Trump’s Washington, Big Banks and Wall Street investment firms dominate as perhaps never before. Their actions are fueling growing inequality and the destruction of the environment. And — worst of all — they’re doing it with your money.

That’s because Big Banks keep dumping more and more money into fossil fuel projects, totalling over $115 million in 2017 alone! And they are turning your bank and ATM fees into campaign contributions for the politicians that are helping them scrap financial regulations.

This is happening. It’s happening today. And you have the power to help stop it. In just five minutes, you can make a change — and make change happen. Sign up with Aspiration today.

When you pull your deposits from Big Banks and switch to Aspiration, the financial firm with a conscience, you send a message — and you may end up with more money in your pocket too.

The good news is that the movement for change is well underway: Many thousands are joining Aspiration every week! Move your Money, Change Your World: Open an Aspiration account today.

Make the switch and here’s what you’ll get: No ATM fees ever, anywhere in the world. And no monthly fees. (The average fees at Bank of America are $497 a year). An interest rate that is up to 100 times higher than that offered by Big Banks like Wells Fargo or Bank of America.

Sustainable, fossil fuel-free, firearm-free deposits are a great approach. Customers choose the fee they think Aspiration deserves – even if it is zero.

And Aspiration commits to donating 10% of every dollar of its earnings to charitable microloans for low-income Americans. When you take your money out of Big Banks, you stop letting them use your own fees to fund the destruction of the planet and to lobby for anti-consumer legislation.

You can quickly and easily sign up for an Aspiration account today!

Thanks, Chris Bowers


David Swanson June 16, 2019 at 8:35 pm

Charlottesville Divests From Weapons And Fossil Fuels

By David Swanson, World Beyond War, June 15, 2019

On the evening of June 3, 2019, the City Council of Charlottesville, Va., voted to divest the funds in its operating budget from weapons dealers and fossil fuel producers. Here’s the resolution as passed by the City Council: PDF. The city has also committed to taking the same step with its retirement fund by this coming autumn.

The proposal to do this was brought to the city in March by a coalition of groups called Divest Cville, which attended and spoke at city council meetings (see videos), held rallies, wrote letters, made flyers, bought ads, produced responses to possible objections, met with the City Treasurer, and presented a petition.

David Swanson, Executive Director of World BEYOND War, one of the organizations involved, said that combining weapons with fossil fuels was not just a matter of listing the two worst investments, but was a step intentionally taken to highlight the connections between the two industries.

A major motivation behind some wars is the desire to control resources that poison the earth, especially oil and gas. In fact, the launching of wars by wealthy nations in poor ones does not correlate with human rights violations or lack of democracy or threats of terrorism, but does strongly correlate with the presence of oil.

Divest Cville made the following case:

U.S. weapons companies supply deadly weapons to numerous brutal dictatorships around the globe, and companies Charlottesville currently has public funds invested in include Boeing and Honeywell, which are major suppliers of Saudi Arabia’s horrific war on the people of Yemen.

The current federal administration has labeled climate change a hoax, moved to withdraw the U.S. from the global climate accord, attempted to suppress climate science, and worked to intensify the production and use of warming-causing fossil fuels, with the burden therefore falling on city, county, and state governments to assume climate leadership for the sake of their citizens’ wellbeing and the health of local and regional environments.

Militarism is a major contributor to climate change, and the City of Charlottesville had already urged the U.S. Congress to invest less in militarism and more in protecting human and environmental needs.

Continuing on the current course of climate change will cause a global average temperature rise of 4.5ºF by 2050, and cost the global economy $32 trillion dollars.

Five-year averages of temperature in Virginia began a significant and steady increase in the early 1970s, rising from 54.6 degrees Fahrenheit then to 56.2 degrees F in 2012, and the Piedmont area has seen the temperature rise at a rate of 0.53 degrees F per decade, at which rate Virginia will be as hot as South Carolina by 2050 and as northern Florida by 2100;

Economists at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst have documented that military spending is an economic drain rather than a jobs-creation program, and that investment in other sectors is economically beneficial.

Satellite readings show water tables dropping worldwide, and more than one in three counties in the United States could face a “high” or “extreme” risk of water shortages due to climate change by the middle of the 21st century, while seven in ten of the more than 3,100 counties could face “some” risk of shortages of fresh water.

Wars are often fought with U.S.-made weapons used by both sides. Examples include U.S. wars in Syria, Iraq, Libya, the Iran-Iraq war, the Mexican drug war, World War II, and many others.

Heat waves now cause more deaths in the United States than all other weather events (hurricanes, floods, lightning, blizzards, tornados, etc.) combined, and dramatically more than all deaths from terrorism. An estimated 150 people in the United States will die from extreme heat every summer day by 2040, with almost 30,000 heat-related deaths annually.

Local government investing in companies producing weapons of war implicitly supports federal war spending on those same companies, many of which depend on the federal government as their primary customer.

Between 1948 and 2006 “extreme precipitation events” increased 25% in Virginia, with negative impacts on agriculture, a trend predicted to continue, and global sea level is projected to rise an average of at least two feet by the end of the century, with rising along the Virginia coast among the most rapid in the world.

Weapons companies that Charlottesville can commit to not investing in produced the weapons brought to Charlottesville in August 2017.

Fossil fuel emissions must be cut by 45% by 2030 and to zero by 2050 in order to hold warming to the 2.7 ºF (1.5 ºC) goal targeted in the Paris Accord.

Climate change is a serious threat to the health, safety and welfare of the people of Charlottesville, and the American Academy of Pediatrics has warned that climate change poses a threat to human health and safety, with children being uniquely vulnerable, and calls failure to take “prompt, substantive action” an “act of injustice to all children.”

The rate of mass shootings in the United States is the highest anywhere in the developed world, as civilian gun manufacturers continue to reap enormous profits off bloodshed that we do not need to invest our public dollars in.

DivestCville is sponsored by: Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice, World BEYOND War.

Also endorsed by: Indivisible Charlottesville, Casa Alma Catholic Worker, RootsAction, Code Pink, Charlottesville Coalition For Gun Violence Prevention, John Cruickshank of the Sierra Club, Michael Payne (candidate for City Council), Charlottesville Amnesty International, Dave Norris (former Charlottesville Mayor), Lloyd Snook (candidate for City Council), Sunrise Charlottesville, Together Cville, Sena Magill (candidate for City Council), Paul Long (candidate for City Council), Sally Hudson (candidate for state delegate), Bob Fenwick (candidate for City Council).



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