The city of Copenhagen is set to become the latest recruit to the unstoppable divestment movement, with its plan to sell off the coal, oil and gas assets of its 6.9 billion Krone (€1.29 bn) investment fund.
The Danish capital will join a movement worth over $3.4 trillion worldwide, followingNorway’s capital Oslo and non-European cities such as Newcastle, Australia, as well as over 500 institutions, universities, banks, companies and thousands of people, who have already pulled their money out of dirty energy.
With fossil fuels recognised as high-risk, volatile, toxic investments, the Paris Agreement signalling global recognition of the inevitable transition to clean energy, and renewables booming and boosting economies worldwide worldwide, Copenhagen may be the latest ambassador for the divestment movement, but it will not be the last.
- The divestment movement is growing across the world. What started with a few US universities has grown to become the fastest growing divestment movement in history, representing $3.4 trillion in assets. Yet the fossil fuel sector is still being funnelled vast amounts of public money. The faster governments move to end their association with fossil fuels and phase out subsidies, the sooner the final nail will be in the coffin of polluting and harmful coal, oil and gas.
- Divesting from fossil fuels makes economic sense and is a “moral imperative”. Experts like the Bank of England’s Mark Carney have warned of the risks of tying money up in coal, oil and gas, and the G20’s Financial Stability Board is putting together a new global task force to track climate-related financial risk. Finances aside, keeping polluting, harmful fossil fuel behemoths afloat is simply not compatible with a safe, healthy future.
- To reap the rewards of renewables, ambitious and steady EU policy is crucial. As investors flee fossil fuels, renewables are booming in much of the world: at the Paris climate summit major projects were announced from India’s ‘solar alliance’ to Africa’s plan to reach 300GW of renewables by 2030. Europe, the former clean energy front-runner, risks missing out on huge investments unless it ensures it has stable and ambitious climate and energy policies.