Four years ago, 350.org launched a distributed fossil fuel divestment campaign, and since then it has spread like wildfire to become a global movement. It’s estimated that divestment pledges increased from $50 billion in 2014 to nearly $5 trillion in managed assets at the end of 2016. 350.org staff are actively campaigning in the US, the UK, several European countries, South Africa, and Japan. Our goal is to show that the fossil fuel industry is morally bankrupt and prove that their business plan is incompatible with a livable climate. The ripples of campaigns are already having financial impacts on major institutions that now see fossil fuels as a risky bet.
After three years of intensive campaigning, our campaign called Fossil Free Sweden saw some ground-breaking wins: Stockholm University, the city of Stockholm, the city of Malmö, and the municipalities of Strömstad and Borås all pledged to divest to the tune of $7.8 million US dollars. Thanks to our campaigning, public opinion has shifted, and it’s crucial for many institutions to identify themselves as “fossil free” to stay competitive in the marketplace or to gain public support. The Swedish government even launched their own initiative and named it Fossil Free Sweden (not very original!).
However, politicians continue to sell Swedish fossil fuel assets to other investors, thereby ignoring their responsibility to the climate. We peacefully protested the Swedish government’s decision to sell lignite mines in Germany, and we’re working with allies on initiatives – like the Magnolia court case – to hold the government responsible for their decision on the mines.
In addition, we’re pushing iconic targets — like the Swedish AP pensions funds, the largest funds in the country, and the Nobel Foundation — to divest from fossil fuels. Fifteen Nobel laureates have signed a letter to the Foundation on divestment, and protests on Nobel day – December 10th – were a success.
With your continued support, our divestment campaign in Sweden will continue to hold the government accountable for its climate inaction and rack up more divestment wins in the year ahead. Thank you for helping us pressure Sweden to be 100% fossil free and making our divestment campaigns possible around the world.