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Presentation at 2016 MA Sustainable Campuses and Communities Conference

Published in: Environment
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  1. 1. Susan Redlich Art !! April, 2016! !
  2. 2. The Global Divestment Movement is Growing Daily. 350.Org via Bill McKibben’s “Do the Math” Tour, started the movement less than 4 years ago and conHnues to urge colleges, faith and other organizaHons to divest.
  3. 3. Hampshire College Divested
  4. 4. Divest UMass Amherst
  5. 5. Divest Amherst College
  6. 6. Divest Mount Holyoke
  7. 7. Divest Smith College
  8. 8. Faith Groups Have Divested
  9. 9. 14 MunicipaliHes in MA Have Made Commitments to Divest From Fossil Fuels, So Far
  10. 10. MassachuseRs May Be the First State to Divest from all Fossil Fuels. •  Last year, California became the first state to divest from coal. •  Last year, UMass FoundaHon became the first state insHtuHon in MA to divest from coal. •  Vermont, New York and Minnesota are also pushing strongly for divestment.
  11. 11. Individuals Are Finding Out How to Divest Their Own Investments from Fossil Fuel Companies •  Panels on individual divestment are coming up shortly in PiRsfield, Lowell and Hingham.
  12. 12. Who Is SupporHng Divestment in MA?
  13. 13. Environmental OrganizaHons SupporHng Fossil Fuel Divestment: Climate AcHon Now, Western Mass The Sierra Club The ConservaHon Law FoundaHon The Environmental League of MA Environment MassachuseRs Toxics AcHon Network Clean Water AcHon Mass Climate AcHon Network 350.Org/350MA
  14. 14. MA Legislators and Treasurer •  48 MA legislators support full fossil fuel divestment •  MA Treasurer Deb Goldberg supports divestment legislaHon
  15. 15. These Unions Support Divestment •  Mass. Nurses AssociaHon •  Boston Teachers Union •  SEIU, Local 509 •  SEIU, Local 888 •  Mass. Society of Professors, Umass Amherst •  Professional Staff Union, Umass Amherst
  16. 16. DefiniHons •  What does divestment mean? Divestment is the opposite of investment. It means to sell shares of something. •  What is a “fossil fuel company”? For purposes of most fossil fuel divestment resoluHons, it is a company listed as one of the top 200 oil, gas and coal companies on the Carbon Underground list.
  17. 17. What Do Most ResoluHons Call For? • No new investment in fossil fuel companies • Divestment of current holdings in fossil fuel companies within 5 years • Support for divestment efforts in the wider community, such as for the municipal resoluHons and the State fossil fuel divestment legislaHon.
  18. 18. The Moral Argument: Investment in Fossil Fuel Companies is morally wrong. Historically, divestment efforts have arisen… 1.  When responding to intenHonal, grave, large-scale harm. 2.  When responding to intractable resistance. 3. As a means of sHgmaHzing and discrediHng the targeted companies, removing their social license to operate.
  19. 19. Bill McKibben’s Moral Argument: “If it’s wrong to wreck the climate, it’s wrong to profit from that wreckage” - Bill McKibben
  20. 20. Why Not Invest? We Refuse to Invest in Companies that… •  ConHnue to dump CO2 into the air without consequence •  ConHnue to explore for new fossil fuel reserves despite knowledge that their exisHng reserves are unburnable •  Lobby against clean energy and climate soluHons •  Cover up climate change dangers and fund climate change denial efforts •  Do not pay for clean up and damage caused by climate change impacts •  Harm our health and that of future generaHons •  Destroy the environment through extracHon pracHces •  Obtain government subsidies and tax credits from our tax dollars
  21. 21. ExxonMobil and its Peers Knew of Climate Dangers 30 Years Ago and Concealed Them From the Public MA ARorney General Maura Healey has joined the invesHgaHon, with other states ARorney Generals.
  22. 22. Fracking Has Been Found to Cause Earthquakes! •  This spring, the US Geological Survey created a new category of earthquakes – those that are manmade - and reported that reported “manmade earthquakes” affected 7 million Americans.
  23. 23. The Financial Argument: Investment in Fossil Fuel Companies is Financially Risky
  24. 24. 
 “Fiduciary Responsibility” is No Longer an Argument Against Divestment.
 Failure of Endowments and Pension Funds to Divest from Fossil Fuels Now Risks Financial Loss

  25. 25. In Fact, Endowments and Pension Funds are Losing Money Now by Staying Invested in Fossil Fuels •  An analysis done by Trillium Asset Management last year found that the MA Pension Fund had lost a half billion dollars by invesHng in fossil fuels in FY 2014. •  Other funds have found similar loss. •  Fossil free indexes outperformed the S&P 500 in 2015.
  26. 26. MulHple Factors Have Converged to Devalue Fossil Fuel Companies •  Countries made pledges to reduce emissions at the UN conference in Paris and some are starHng to be fulfilled (the carbon bubble effect) •  AcHvists, including divestment campaigns, are standing by to make sure countries follow through on their pledges •  Coal is completely tanking •  Renewables are on the rise •  Financial markets are casHng doubt on the value of fossil fuels, via major media outlets
  27. 27. Divestment Campaigns are EffecHve •  In it’s 2014 SEC filing, Peabody Coal stated that the fossil fuel divestment movement “could significantly affect demand for our products…”. In April, 2016, it became the 50th and largest coal co. to declare bankruptcy since 2012 (when the divestment movement began). •  Saudi Arabia has advised US oil companies to thwart the “misguided” divestment movement. •  Morgan Stanley published a new report Climate Change and Fossil Fuel Aware InvesHng, crediHng and the divestment movement with puong investment in fossil fuel cos. on the public agenda.
  28. 28. Resources: For more informaHon, to sign our peHHon and subscribe to the MassDivest Update, go to: See also: #divestma #divesRherest #keepiHntheground
  29. 29. Let’s Do It!