What is fossil fuel divestment and why does it matter? | Keep it in the ground

What is fossil fuel divestment and why does it matter? | Keep it in the ground


There’s this campaign going on, mainly in
the US at the moment, and it’s a new way into the whole climate debate that is a bit different
from, you know, change your lightbulbs. Divestment is a very simple idea. You just
take your money away from companies that are involved in extracting fossil fuels. You want your money to be part of the solution
and not part of the problem. Divestment is the biggest signal which any
individual or company can give to the fossil fuel industry. If you want to do something about climate
change, you want those fossil fuel companies to stop burning the reserves they’ve got and
you want them to behave differently. You do that by refusing to buy their shares. Divestment says: “We do not accept your premise.
We do not like what you’re doing.” And in practical terms it’s about moving you
money away from the problem and towards the solution. I don’t know about you but I don’t really
have any shares but we all have stakes in pension funds, in various forms of investment
through our lives and those investments will almost certainly involve shares in fossil
fuel companies. A generation ago, when the biggest moral issue
in the world was apartheid in South Africa, Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu suggested
this tactic, that it was time for the great institutions of the West to cut their economic
ties with the companies that propped up the apartheid regime. If there’s ever going to be any kind of international
agreement, it’ll only be because our political and business leaders are feeling unrelenting
pressure from all over the world. So, unless there’s political pressure to change
nothing will change. Divestment is very useful for shaming companies,
it’s very useful for bringing the issue out into the open more. It provides a really powerful moral framework. This is not a normal movement, there are no
great leaders, there’s no Doctor King of the climate movement. The fossil fuel industry
is sprawling, it’s protean and so the resistance to it needs to be the same way. But that’s the exciting part: the change isn’t
a technological change, it’s not scientific change, it is now social change. We should be tackling the fossil fuel companies
directly. Leave it in the ground. In the ground.

12 thoughts on “What is fossil fuel divestment and why does it matter? | Keep it in the ground

  1. It would not work, because investors are profit-motivated.  There was not much profit to be gained or lost in the divestment from South Africa. On the other hand, if some people divest from the fossil fuel industry, other people – who could care less about the climate – would immediately jump in and snatch up the available shares at lower prices.  And there are PLENTY of investors who could care less about climate and are purely motivated by profits in their investment decisions. They may invest in alternative and renewable energies as well to hedge their bets, but they certainly would not throw away good money by divesting away from the fossil fuel industry.

  2. I agree it would be best to leave oil in the ground – I agree it would be a good thing if we pressured multinational corporations to respect our biosphere – what this "clips" has done is state the obvious without giving an alternative – how else will we make plastics etc ???  … What is their alternative to oil which makes these products? Which of these products would you be willing to give up in order to stop the refining of oil?  Here is a small partial lists – please feel free to pick from below and stop consuming these items today. 

    Solvents

    Diesel fuel

    Motor Oil

    Bearing Grease

    Ink

    Floor Wax

    Ballpoint Pens

    Football Cleats

    Upholstery

    Sweaters

    Boats

    Insecticides

    Bicycle Tires

    Sports Car Bodies

    Nail Polish

    Fishing lures

    Dresses

    Tires

    Golf Bags

    Perfumes

    Computers

    Dishwasher parts

    Tool Boxes

    Shoe Polish

    Motorcycle Helmet

    Caulking

    Petroleum Jelly

    Transparent Tape

    MP3 Player

    Faucet Washers

    Antiseptics

    Clothesline

    Curtains

    Food Preservatives

    Basketballs

    Soap

    Vitamin Capsules

    Antihistamines

    Purses

    Shoes

    Dashboards

    Cortisone

    Deodorant

    Footballs

    Putty

    Dyes

    Panty Hose

    Refrigerant

    Percolators

    Life Jackets

    Rubbing Alcohol

    Linings

    Skis

    TV Cabinets

    Shag Rugs

    Electrician's Tape

    Tool Racks

    Car Battery Cases

    Epoxy

    Paint

    Mops

    Slacks

    Insect Repellent

    Oil Filters

    Umbrellas

    Yarn

    Fertilizers

    Hair Coloring

    Roofing

    Toilet Seats

    Fishing Rods

    Lipstick

    Denture Adhesive

    Linoleum

    Ice Cube Trays

    Synthetic Rubber

    Speakers

    Plastic Wood

    Electric Blankets

    Glycerin

    Tennis Rackets

    Rubber Cement

    Fishing Boots

    Dice

    Nylon Rope

    Candles

    Trash Bags

    House Paint

    Water Pipes

    Hand Lotion

    Roller Skates

    Surf Boards

    Shampoo

    Wheels

    Paint Rollers

    Shower Curtains

    Guitar Strings

    Luggage

    Aspirin

    Safety Glasses

    Antifreeze

    Football Helmets

    Awnings

    Eyeglasses

    Internet Cables/ wifi

    Toothbrushes

    Ice Chests

    Footballs

    Combs

    Cell Phones

    Paint Brushes

    Detergents

    Vaporizers

    Balloons

    Sun Glasses

    Tents

    Heart Valves

    Crayons

    Parachutes

    Telephones

    Enamel

    Pillows

    Dishes

    Cameras

    Anesthetics

    Artificial Turf

    Artificial limbs

    Bandages

    Dentures

    Model Cars

    Folding Doors

    Hair Curlers

    Cold cream

    Movie film

    Soft Contact lenses

    Drinking Cups

    Fan Belts

    Car Enamel

    Shaving Cream

    Ammonia

    Refrigerators

    Golf Balls

    Microwave Ovens

    Gasoline

  3. Signed the petition! I'm tired of people not giving two shits about the environment and nature and love this movement guardian is attempting to start! LEAVE IT IN THE MOTHERFUCKING GROUND!!

  4. You make it sound like it is the company's fault where all there do is filling a need for fossil fuels for cars, generators and power plants if they didn't most of the world would shut down as that is the main provider of electricity and eco friendly electricity just will not cut it yet we need to put more money in to new environmentally friendly energy

  5. I hop you lose your a threat I like fossil fuels so fuck you like using tv or cars no electric cars because so small and stupid and you are too

  6. Fucking hypocritical conservaturds:
    why do those wanting to install a gas-powered water heater in the US get a fucking FREE $500 rebate?
    Fucking conservaturds just want to spend, spend, spend.
    Those of us who want to install electric-powered water heaters should get paid MORE than freeloaders who want free gas.

  7. What about using products and services that use fossil fuels? Stop buying car that run on gas. No more using airplanes, boat and trains for travel for they all used fossil fuels. Don't buy any products online or stores. After all they are transported with the use of fossil fuels. Hell by making this video and me commenting on it we used electricity with is powered by fossil fuel. Maybe instead of divestment maybe everyone used alternative power supplies and invest in them. That would work way better than divestment.

  8. Considering fossil fuels are the foundation of the modern world, and make it possible for the world to support 7 billion people. To be true to your intentions, you can't invest in anything.  You can't even keep paper money and coinage because fossil fuels are used to make them.

  9. Go ahead -divest. Someone else will benefit from the dividends while you loose scholarships and have to make up the difference with higher tuitions.
    Brilliant!
    Better yet, stay home. Don't waste energy going to school or work.

  10. I don't yet have investments in stocks, but I did switch my bank from a big bank to Aspiration to divest my own money from fossil fuels. I review the bank and there's a bonus link in the video on my channel if you're interested in switching to a green bank too! As someone with a degree in environmental science and conservation I know how serious the threat of climate change is!

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