A Guide to Personal Divestment

The fossil fuel divestment movement is sweeping the nation.  This grass roots campaign is now branching into the collective power of individual statements of personal divestment. This is your chance to speak with conviction about the world you would like to invest in by divesting your funds from fossil fuels.

We recognize that personal divestment is both a responsibility and a privilege.  Many of us don’t have retirement accounts or other investment market funds to divest.  But for those of us that do, removing our financial stake in the companies driving the climate crisis is our responsibility.

In short: it just doesn’t make sense for individuals to hold stock in fossil fuel companies while understanding the consequence of climate change. The one thing we know the fossil fuel industry cares about is money. Collectively, we invest a lot of it. If you help to lead a personal divestment campaign focused on the stigmatization of these bad actors — weakening their political capital — we can help the momentum of climate solutions and sustainable economies. This was a key part of how the world ended the apartheid system in South Africa, and we hope it can have the same effect on the climate crisis.

Research shows that there are more fossil fuels sitting in reserves of fossil fuel companies than we can afford to burn if we are to prevent dangerous climate change. Those unburnable assets are valued as if climate change and pending regulation does not exist.  The market is sitting on a potential depression sized overvaluation bubble – making the subprime crisis seem trivial.  The “carbon bubble” is as real as the alternative – devastating climate change impacts.

We are calling on you to be leaders in your community in the personal divestment movement.  Make a statement that you will not contribute to and profit from the growing climate crisis.

To help you in your personal divestment, Green Century Funds, Trillium Asset Management, and 350.org have published a report, “Extracting Fossil Fuels from your Portfolio: A Guide to Personal Divestment and Reinvestment.”  

You can also report your divestment at gofossilfree.org/mymoney and watch the movement grow.

  • HAPPENING NOW: “Years of Living Dangerously” watch-parties and web-chat. More at 350.org/years

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