Tags: rockefeller | climate | change | campaign

Rockefellers Join Climate Change Divestment Campaign

By    |   Monday, 22 Sep 2014 06:59 AM

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund has joined hundreds of institutions and affluent people in shifting its investment portfolio away from companies involved in the fossil fuel industry. The move is intended to bring their ideas about climate change in line with where they put their money,  The New York Times reported.

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The timing of the announcement is hooked to Tuesday's start of the United Nations climate change conference in New York.

The divestment campaign is partly propelled by the progressive Wallace Global Fund named after Henry Wallace, who was president Franklin Roosevelt's vice president from 1941–1945 and ran for the presidency as the Progressive Party candidate in 1948 against Harry Truman. Students were the first to pressure their university endowments to divest from the oil, coal, and associated industries.

Ellen Dorsey of the Wallace Global Fund said, "This is a threshold moment. This movement has gone from a small activist band quickly into the mainstream," the Times reported.
The Rockefeller family made its fortune from Standard Oil (now mostly Exxon Mobil) and their philanthropic arm, established by founder John D. Rockefeller in 1913, sits on $860 million in assets. Today its money goes to "advancing inclusive economies" and "building resilience by helping people" deal with global change.

Speaking about the divestment, Stephen Heintz, president of the Rockefeller Foundation said, "We're moving soberly, but with real commitment."

Members of the family involved in the decision include Steven Rockefeller, a son of former New York governor and U.S. vice president Nelson A. Rockefeller and Valerie Rockefeller Wayne,  daughter of Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV, the West Virginia Democrat.

Actor-investor Mark Ruffalo and retired Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu are supporting the Rockefeller Foundation's step.

Some 180 philanthropies and hundreds of wealthy people have pledged to divest and pull over $50 billion out of the fossil fuel industry. Experts believe that there will be little actual financial impact on cash-rich oil and coal companies, according to the Times.

Besides the ideological motivation for taking their money out, some pro-divestment activists say the fossil fuel industry will become an increasingly unsafe investment as new energy technologies come on stream.

Among the big institutional investors who have resisted the climate divestment bandwagon are Harvard University and big pension funds such as PensionDanmark, the Times reported.

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The Rockefeller Brothers Fund has joined hundreds of institutions and affluent people in shifting its investment portfolio away from companies involved in the fossil fuel industry. The move is intended to bring their ideas about climate change in line with where they put...
rockefeller, climate, change, campaign
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2014-59-22
Monday, 22 Sep 2014 06:59 AM
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