Coal-fired power plant in Midlands, England. Creative Commons: University Blogspot, 2012.

Leonardo and LDF join more than 400 institutions pledging to divest from fossil fuels

September 23, 2015

Leonardo and LDF join more than 400 institutions pledging to divest from fossil fuels

Just one year ago, several hundred individuals and institutions joined the Divest-Invest pledge, asking investors to shift their financial assets away from fossil fuel investments and towards clean energy solutions. At the time this represented $50 billion in funds committed to divestment.

Now that number has dramatically increased to $2.6 trillion with over 400 institutions and 2,000 individuals participating in the pledge. Leonardo and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation announced today they are joining the pledge to divest, along with governments and investors from 43 countries — pension funds, health, education, philanthropy, faith, entertainment, climate justice and municipalities.“

After looking into the growing movement to divest from fossil fuels and invest in climate solutions, I was convinced to make the pledge on behalf of myself and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation,” said Leonardo DiCaprio. “Now is the time to divest and invest to let our world leaders know that we, as individuals and institutions, are taking action to address climate change, and we expect them to do their part this December in Paris at the U.N. climate talks.”

Climate change is severely impacting the health of our planet and all of its inhabitants, and we must transition to a clean energy economy that does not rely on fossil fuels, the main driver of this global problem. — Leonardo DiCaprio

Recent financial analyses from HSBC, Citigroup, Mercer, Bank of England and the International Energy Agency all indicate a significant, quantifiable risk to portfolios exposed to fossil fuel assets.

According to Thomas Van Dyck, Managing Director-Financial Advisor of SRI Wealth Management Group, a report issued by Arabella Advisors (PDF) shows that more and more investors are reducing their carbon risk today and diversifying their portfolios. The demand for fossil-free investment products is increasing.

“Investing at scale in clean, efficient power offers one of the clearest, no regret choices ever presented to human progress,” said Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UNFCCC, in a video statement at a press conference in New York today unveiling the Arabella Advisors report. The United Nations climate chief has been advocating for the shift of investment flows from fossil fuels to climate solutions to meet the $1-trillion-a-year need for clean energy investment–and to create momentum ahead of the upcoming international climate negotiations in Paris this December.

“This shift in investment flows is especially critical for underserved communities and people living in poverty, who are disproportionately affected by the negative impacts of climate change,” said Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr., president and CEO of Hip Hop Caucus. “Climate change hits the poor first and worst. It is a racial and economic justice issue that must be addressed with solutions like the Divest-Invest movement to empower these communities, eliminate health disparities and drive the shift to a clean energy economy.”

“If these numbers tell us anything, it’s that the divestment movement is catching fire,” said May Boeve, Executive Director of 350.org. “Since starting on the campuses of a few colleges in the U.S., this movement has struck a chord with people across the world who care about climate change, and convinced some of the largest and most influential institutions in the world to begin pulling their money out of climate destruction. That makes me hopeful for our future, and it’s sending a clear message to world leaders as they head into Paris: It’s time for them to follow suit, and divest our governments from fossil fuel companies too.”

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