Sydneysiders rally for divestment

Brief: A spike in DivestFossilFuels pledges this month means foundations, philanthropists and super funds have now committed to keeping over half a billion dollars out of fossil fuels.

April has seen a 500 per cent increase in pledges to the DivestFossilFuels website, which was launched earlier this year.

Established by the Climate Advocacy Association’s Ross Knowles and Dr John McKinnon, the platform allows Australian foundations, philanthropists and super funds to pledge to divest their shares and funds from “all direct investment in the prospecting, extraction, transport, sale and the burning of fossil fuels”.

“I’m thrilled to see the rapid growth in philanthropists and super funds divesting from fossil fuels,” Mr Knowles said.

“Moving their money to accord with their values is what people do when they’re really serious about an issue and $570,000,000-plus is a serious statement rejecting the fossil fuel industry and embracing the move to renewable energy.

“It’s a remarkable and significant signal to the market and to policymakers.”

Dr McKinnon said that the divestment movement was now unstoppable.

“From my previous career I know the inherent conservativeness and herd mentality of the investment community,” Dr McKinnon said.

“It needs leaders to act first and show the way.

“When half a billion dollars of Australian money is pledged, it is a clear and unmistakable sign that things are shifting rapidly; they say money talks after all.”