On 8 December stars of Broadway and hip hop Antonique Smith and Malik Yusef will lead investors from across the world to salute two prominent French foundations and the Danish Villum Foundation which have pledged to divest from fossil fuels and invest in sustainable energy. Sarah Butler-Sloss, Ashden Trust and Mark Sainsbury, Mark Leonard Trust write.
Jacqueline Délia Brémond, Co-Founder & Co-Chair of Fondation of Fondation Ensemble will reveal why the foundation and she herself has pledged to Divest Invest and pioneer the movement in continental Europe.
They will be joined by global hero of the Divest Invest movement, Bill McKibben of 350.org. Financial experts Mark Lewis of Barclays Bank, Seb Beloe of WHEB Asset Management and Mark Campanale of Carbon Tracker will sum up the financial risks and opportunities that are driving Divest Invest. Former French government minister Pascal Canfin, now Senior Advisor on Climate at World Resources Institute, will call on investors to lead action on climate change to keep fossil fuels in the ground.
The denouement will come from the charismatic Hip Hop Caucus, which is firing up whole swathes of society to use their political and social voices to disenfranchise fossil fuels.
The movement to divest from fossil fuels and invest in sustainable energy is now unstoppable. It’s working because it stigmatizes continued investment in fossil fuels – removing their social license to pollute – while at the same time sending a strong signal to financiers: this is the beginning of the end of the fossil fuel era and it’s time to redirect investment into sustainable energy. Just last week, it was announced that $3.4 trillion in assets under management, from over 500 organisations, including 32 European trusts, had been pledged to divest investments in fossil fuels. This was a 68-fold increase in 12 months.
Many more trusts are now considering whether their investments in fossil fuels can be squared with their charitable objectives following the new ground-breaking legal opinion by charity law expert Christopher McCall QC who suggests that investments in carbon intensive assets may be “irreconcilable” with the intent behind many charities.
It’s clear that the growth success of the movement is set to continue in 2016 as the bells toll for the future on the fossil fuel sector.
Hip hop and institutional investors may not be typical bedfellows, but climate change is upending the world as we know it.