Global fossil fuel divestment pledges reach $5.2tn

The assets of global individuals and institutions pledging to divest from fossil fuels are worth nearly $5.2 trillion (£4.09tn). This updated figure was announced on the first anniversary of the Paris climate […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

The assets of global individuals and institutions pledging to divest from fossil fuels are worth nearly $5.2 trillion (£4.09tn).

This updated figure was announced on the first anniversary of the Paris climate agreement and shows the rate of divestment has doubled in the past year.

More than 58,000 individuals and 688 institutions across 76 countries are now determined to tackle climate change by withdrawing investments from the carbon-intensive oil and gas industry and spending their money in greener areas, according to Arabella Advisors.

Universities, foundations and faith-based groups account for around three quarters of the new commitments made.

The faith sector has also seen rapid growth in pledges to divestment, potentially as a result of suggestions from Pope Francis that fighting climate change is a moral duty, it states.

A recent interfaith divestment statement was signed by more than 300 faith leaders from 58 nations.

The report adds an increasingly large proportion of profit-driven institutions such as pension funds, insurers and banks – representing around $4.5 trillion (£3.54tn) in assets – are also committing to withdraw their money from fossil fuels as climate risks to their investment portfolios become more apparent, it adds.

The Nobel Foundation recently came under pressure to divest from fossil fuels.