June Update: Big Names Kick Coal to the Curb

There’s been a lot of big news this month, with both Georgetown University and the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund divesting from coal. Want to dive deeper into what’s happening in the world of divestment? Then check out our June newsletter below!

Norway divests from coal!
On May 26, the parliament of Norway elected to divest its $890 billion sovereign wealth fund from coal companies. Norway has taken a bold and conspicuous first step, but has yet to divest from oil and gas. Given the fund is built with profits from oil extracted from the North Sea, true change means getting out of the fossil fuel business entirely.


Georgetown divests from coal!
Following a two-year student-led campaign, Georgetown University’s board voted on June 5th to divest its $1.5 billion endowment from coal companies. Georgetown Fossil Free thanked the board for this “tiny step,” and urged it to divest its holdings in oil and gas companies which are “undermining its Jesuit values and global reputation as a moral leader.”


California State Senate moves a coal divestment bill
On June 3rd, the California State Senate passed SB 185, which would divest California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) to divest from coal companies. The bill now goes on to the California State Assembly.

G7 nations agree to go totally fossil free by 2100
Hooray, we’re saved! j/k! The Group of Seven (G7) nation leaders agreed in a meeting in Germany last week to phase out fossil fuels by 2100. Canada (read: tar sands interests) and Japan (read: no nukes) rejected an initial agreement to phase out fossil fuels by 2050. While the proposed timeline would be “too little, too late,” the agreement represents a historic commitment to global climate action and casts further into doubt the profitability of fossil fuel companies.

Former Shell Chairman reps divestment (?!?)
Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, who reigned over Shell for nearly 40 years, recently called fossil fuel divestment a “rational response” to the lack of progress on climate change, including the big oil and gas companies’ neglect to meaningfully curb climate-altering CO2 emissions.

It’s time to take action!
So many of the world’s major players are taking action on climate change and divesting from fossil fuels—because it’s the right thing to do and to protect their investments. It is time for the District of Columbia to join them by taking its investments in fossil fuel companies out of the DC Retirement Funds and the District Retiree Health Contribution (OPEB). Tell your Councilmembers that you want DC to go fossil free!

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