Nobel Prize winners urge foundation to divest from fossil fuels

The Nobel Foundation is under pressure to divest from fossil fuels. In an open letter, Nobel Prize winners, climate scientists and campaigners from Divest Nobel said the foundation needs to divest […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

The Nobel Foundation is under pressure to divest from fossil fuels.

In an open letter, Nobel Prize winners, climate scientists and campaigners from Divest Nobel said the foundation needs to divest $420 million (£333m) from destructive fossil fuel companies.

Divest Nobel argue that by knowingly contributing to climate change, the foundation is contradicting its original intent to recognise and award people that act for the greater benefit of humankind.

The group is urging the Nobel Foundation to not invest in companies that gain more than 5% of their revenue from coal, oil and gas and suggests all assets invested in such businesses should be withdrawn within five years.

They also stress the importance of reporting the process openly and transparently to clearly demonstrate their intentions, in the hope that other institutions will follow suit.

The letter states: “Today, in this time of urgent need, as we face a warming planet and strive to implement the Paris Agreement, we ask you to do more. Our educational and cultural institutions must do more than educate, they must be an example of a new pathway forward, free from the industries that have caused the most damage to our climate.”

Among the 14 Nobel Prize winners that signed the letter are atmospheric chemist Paul Josef Crutzen, physicist David Wineland and biologist Sir John Sulston as well as several winners of the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize.

The World Medical Association (WMA) recently called on its members to divest from fossil fuels.