• University of Wisconsin-Green Bay: Divest from Fossil Fuels!
    Climate change is widely agreed by the scientists and policymakers who understand it best to be the most significant threat facing humanity, both now and in the long term. Climate change poses many severe, wide-ranging and complicated ecological and human issues, and is a problem that is not going to disappear anytime soon. Indeed, it will only continue to worsen if the status quo is maintained and we continue down the same destructive path that we have been on since the dawn of the industrial era. However, there is hope. By significantly altering the way in which our society operates, we can reduce the negative impacts of climate change and protect our species and our planet from destruction. One such way to do this here on campus is through divestment, or the selling of university investments tied up in the fossil fuel industry. This includes companies whose primary business involves the extraction, refinement, distribution, or any other type of direct business engagement with fossil fuels, a category which is made up of the natural resources of oil, coal, and natural gas. These investments in the fossil fuel industry are oftentimes in enormous international corporations whose activities frequently wreak havoc on the environment and various peoples around the globe. By divesting, we would send a powerful message that we do not agree with the blind continuation of a fossil-fuel based society, and that we will not stand idly by while business as usual continues to ravage the planet. At the same time, we would be freeing up university resources to instead invest in more sustainable and forward-thinking companies. Through partaking in this divestment process, we would be living up to our nickname of "Eco-U" and helping to ensure a cleaner, safer, and overall brighter future for everyone.
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  • Fossil Free Ghent: Divest the University of Ghent
    [English Below] De beweging richting een duurzame toekomst vereist de sociale en economische steun van leidinggevende publieke instellingen en de actieve participatie van de samenleving in haar geheel. Als een publieke actor is het de morele taak van de Universiteit Gent een ethisch rolmodel te zijn op het vlak van positieve actie en het streven naar een duurzame toekomst. Toch investeert onze universiteit een ongekende som in fossiele brandstoffen en wapentechnologie, waardoor de UGent op dit moment faalt haar sociale verantwoordelijkheid op te nemen. De blijvende financiële steun voor de ontginning van fossiele brandstoffen bemoeilijkt de ontwikkeling van hernieuwbare energiebronnen en toont de onwil de klimaatverandering te counteren. De tijd is gekomen om verder te gaan dan communicatie. Het moment is aangebroken om ons financieel, praktisch en symbolisch gewicht in de strijd te werpen. Het is nu dat we moeten desinvesteren om te bouwen aan een duurzame toekomst. AANGEZIEN: De verandering van het klimaat een negatieve invloed heeft op de samenleving en de mogelijkheid voor een welvarende toekomst op het spel zet, AANGEZIEN: De Universiteit Gent de verantwoordelijkheid draagt standvastig leiderschap te tonen om de transitie naar echt duurzaam beleid te bewerkstelligen, AANGEZIEN: Investeren in de onethische sector van de fossiele brandstoffen steeds risicovoller wordt, DAAROM: Vragen wij, de ondergetekenden, aan de Universiteit Gent, 1. Alle toekomstige investeringen in fossiele brandstoffen, wapens en andere onethische initiatieven onmiddellijk stop te zetten. 2. Alle bestaande investeringen (onder andere haar portefeuille ter waarde van 230 miljoen euro) effectief weg te trekken uit dergelijke onethische initiatieven. 3. Op facultair niveau geen onderzoek meer te financieren gelinkt aan wapenproductie en fossiele energieën. 4. Volledige transparantie te verzekeren inzake toekomstige investeringen. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Moving towards a sustainable future requires the social and economic support of leading public entities and the active participation by the community as a whole. As a public actor, the University of Gent is supposed to serve as an ethical role model for positive action. Yet our University invests an unknown amount of fossil fuel extraction and weapon technology; our University fails to fulfill its social responsibility. Their financial support for the extraction of fossil fuels perpetuates resistance towards development for renewable sources of energy production and the irreversible damages of climate change. Now is the time to go beyond communication, to throw our financial, practical, and symbolic weight into the struggle for a sustainable future. WHEREAS: The impacts of climate change negatively affect all communities and limit their ability to have a prosperous future, WHEREAS: The University of Gent has a responsibility to act with unwavering ethics and leadership for change, WHEREAS: Fossil fuel investment continues to become an ever riskier and unethical investment sector, THEREFORE: We, the undersigned, demand that the University of Gent, 1. Withdraws all existing investments (including her portfolio of 230 million euros) from fossil fuel and weapon initiatives. 2. Stops all funding of research linked to weapon production and fossil fuels on faculty level. 3. Ends immediately all future investments in fossil fuel extraction, industries which depend on fossil fuels, and weapon technology. 4. Guarantees full transparency concerning future investments.
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  • KU Leuven Fossil Free
    {ENGLISH BELOW} Onze klimaattoekomst hangt af van een eenvoudige keuze. Ontginnen we alle gekende steenkool-, olie- en gasvoorraden ter wereld, dan blazen we genoeg CO2 de lucht in om onze planeet meerdere keren te laten overkoken. Laten we de meerderheid van die fossiele brandstoffen in de grond, dan maken we een goede kans om een leefbaar klimaat te behouden. Nu nog nieuwe steenkoolmijnen, olie- of gasvelden aansnijden is dus absolute waanzin wetende dat zelfs nu al mensen wereldwijd de gevolgen van klimaatverandering ondervinden. Sterker nog, als we de gevaarlijke grens van 1.5° opwarming niet willen overschrijden, zoals afgesproken in het wereldwijde Klimaatakkoord van Parijs, dan moeten zelfs fossiele mijnen en velden die nu actief zijn, vroegtijdig sluiten. Steeds meer universiteiten, stadsbesturen en pensioenfondsen van over de hele wereld investeren daarom niet langer in fossiele brandstofbedrijven. Daarmee nemen ze zowel een ethisch als economisch standpunt in en tonen ze zich voortrekker in de strijd voor een eerlijkere, gezondere en duurzamere samenleving. Onze KU Leuven kan haar rol als wetenschappelijke en maatschappelijke voortrekker daarbij niet ontkennen. Wij vragen nu dus dat onze universiteit zich ook aansluit bij die internationale Fossil Fuel Divestment beweging en haar bestaande fossiele beleggingen stopt. Fossiele brandstoffen horen in de grond! ENGLISH Our common climate future depends on a simple choice. If we dig up all known global coal, oil and gas reserves, we’ll blow enough CO2 into the atmosphere to boil the planet multiple times. If we choose to keep the majority of fossil fuels in the ground, we have a good shot at preserving a gentle climate. Opening up new coal mines, oil or gas fields at this stage is completely insane, knowing that people all over the world are already suffering from the consequences of climate change. Even more, if we want to keep the limit of a world only 1.5 degrees Celsius hotter than in pre-industrial times in sight, as we globally agreed upon in the Paris Agreement, then fossil fuel mines and fields that are actively in use nowadays will have to close down earlier than planned. More and more universities, city councils and pension funds worldwide have stopped investing in fossil fuel companies. They are taking an ethical and economical stance and prove to be leaders in fighting for a more equal, healthy and sustainable society. Our KU Leuven cannot deny its role in this debate as a scientific and civil pioneer. We ask our university to join the international Fossil Fuel Divestment movement and to put an end to its existing fossil investments. Together we keep fossil fuels in the ground!
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  • University of Toledo: Go Fossil Free!
    Climate change is accelerating. We are witnessing the increasing impacts of a warming planet more and more consistently; in this last year alone our country experienced record-breaking heat, droughts, and hurricanes, which impacted hundreds of thousands of people and cost our country hundreds of billions of dollars. Hurricane Sandy alone caused $50 billion in damages. Experts agree that global warming caused by humans burning fossil fuels will continue to accelerate and intensify these tragic climate disasters. The scientific consensus is clear and overwhelming; we cannot safely burn even half of global fossil-fuel reserves without dangerously warming the planet for several thousand years.
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  • Call to switch to a sustainable bank
    Anthropogenic climate change poses a threat to humans and natural systems on a global scale. Temperatures are rising rapidly: nine out of ten of the warmest years ever recorded in human history occurred after 2000 [1], and global temperatures continue to break records in 2016 [2]. Sea levels are steadily rising, extreme weather events are expected to occur more frequently, and oceans are acidifying at a frightening rate. Species are threatened with mass extinction and humans are displaced from their homes [3]. It is clear that efforts must be undertaken to stop climate change sooner rather than later. At the end of 2015, world leaders got together for COP21 in Paris and agreed to “[hold] the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels” [4]. If we are to take this ambition seriously, then we need to put a strict limit on the amount of fossil fuels that can still be used. In fact, we effectively have a ‘carbon budget’. This carbon budget clearly shows that a large part of the currently operational coal mines and gas and oil fields cannot be exploited at all, if we do not want to exceed 1.5 or 2 °C global warming [5]. Wageningen University & Research is renowned for its high quality education and research programmes [6], as well as for its sustainable practices [7]. With regards to sustainability and corporate social responsibility, Wageningen University & Research states that its goal is “to take a leading role in the area of sustainable operational management” and the institute shows that it is working on increasing sustainability in many ways [8]. However, one aspect of sustainability that has not been considered sufficiently, in our opinion, is finance. As the world has sensibly placed a carbon budget on its emissions, it has become evident that current and future investments in the fossil fuel industry can be regarded as irresponsible and unwise. Wageningen University & Research indirectly contributes to these investments through their use of two unsustainable banks: ABN AMRO and Rabobank. These banks score particularly poorly on the aspect of climate change, as highlighted by EerlijkeBankwijzer [9]. They are responsible for substantial financial support to fossil fuel industries through loans and shareholding practices [10]. Investing in fossil fuel extraction, as ABN AMRO and Rabobank do, is absolutely incompatible with the internationally agreed upon limit of 2 °C global warming. Fortunately, there is a suitable alternative. Triodos Bank is the only bank in the Netherlands that does not invest in the fossil fuel industry [11] and is capable of taking on large institutions as their clients. Furthermore, we believe Triodos Bank’s mission and key values [12] are highly consistent with those of Wageningen University & Research. Through a personal meeting with a representative of Triodos Bank, Fossil Free Wageningen has become convinced that it is possible to make the transition to this sustainable bank. Wageningen University & Research now has the opportunity to be a frontrunner on truly all aspects of sustainability and to become the leading institution on sustainability that it aims to be. To embody our underlying values for sustainable development, we need all hands and heads. Together, we can make this transition towards a carbon neutral society. Therefore, we, Fossil Free Wageningen, and the following students, alumni, staff members, teachers, and professors, ask Wageningen University & Research to bring this university a step closer to being a fossil free university by committing to switching to a truly sustainable bank. References: [1] http://climate.nasa.gov/ [2] http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20160719/ [3] http://ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/syr/AR5_SYR_FINAL_SPM.pdf [4] http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2015/cop21/eng/l09.pdf [5] http://priceofoil.org/2016/09/22/the-skys-limit-report/ [6] http://www.wur.nl/en/About-Wageningen/Scientific-prominence-Wageningen-University-Research.htm [7] http://www.studentenvoormorgen.nl/uitslag-2016/ [8] http://www.wur.nl/en/About-Wageningen/Sustainability.htm [9] http://eerlijkegeldwijzer.nl/bankwijzer/ [10] http://eerlijkegeldwijzer.nl/media/60922/2015-11-praktijkonderzoek-undermining-our-future.pdf [11] https://www.triodos.com/en/investment-management/impact-investment/our-sectors/energy-and-climate/ [12] https://www.triodos.com/en/about-triodos-bank/who-we-are/mission-principles/what-we-stand-for/
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  • Make Maplewood Fossil Fuel Free
    Burlington, Vermont, Aspen, Colorado, and Greenberg, Kansas have all successfully transitioned to 100% renewable energy, and many more cites across the country are setting ambitious goals to go fossil fuel free. As a town in a state that was heavily affected by Superstorm Sandy, I think it is in an economic and moral imperative that we set an example for the rest of the Garden State and rid ourselves of our dependance on fossil fuels. I believe Maplewood is uniquely suited to this challenge: we have a town full of community oriented, socially conscious individuals and families whom I believe would welcome such an exciting and ambitious challenge. Hopefully, we can set an example for other small towns to do the same. As a result of human consumption of fossil fuels, earth has an atmospheric concentration 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide, and we’re adding 2 ppm of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere every year. Unless we are able to rapidly turn that around and return to below 350 ppm this century, we risk triggering tipping points and irreversible impacts that could send climate change spinning truly beyond our control. We owe it to our children to do everything we can to leave a safe and livable planet for them. Let's do our part, and let's do it together.
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  • Cobbers For Divestment
    We are taught at Concordia to become responsibly engaged in the world (BREW), but while we are being taught these principles, the college is ignoring the very values they are trying to teach us. Concordia is going against their own values of sustainability and responsible engagement in the world. Concordia invests more then 121 million dollars of their endowment into a portfolio that invests in oil companies and fossil fuel companies, these companies values do not in any way shape or form align with concordia's values. Instead we urge the college to divest from these companies and reinvest into portfolios and companies who's views and values better align with the values that the college tries to instill in its students and project onto the public.
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    Created by Lacy Tooker-Kirkevold
  • Libérons Sciences-Po de l'industrie fossile!
    (english below) Toutes celles et ceux qui, comme nous, ont moins de trente ans, n’ont pas vécu un seul mois dont les températures mondiales étaient en-dessous des moyennes saisonnières. Nous vivons un état d’urgence climatique. L’Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris a une responsabilité morale importante dans la lutte contre le dérèglement climatique. Pourtant, les liens tissés par notre université et les entreprises fossiles (partenariats, mécénat, dons, investissements des fondations, etc.) contribuent à légitimer le coeur de leur activité climaticide. Notre université ne peut pas d’un côté prétendre former les leaders de demain pour la construction d'une société plus juste et durable, et de l’autre soutenir une industrie qui s’emploie à rendre la planète inhabitable. Le constat est clair : nous devons laisser 80 % des réserves de combustibles fossiles sous terre pour « poursuivre les efforts pour limiter la hausse des températures à 1,5 °C » comme la communauté internationale s’y est engagée lors des Accords de Paris. 200 entreprises détiennent près de cinq fois plus de carbone dans leurs réserves que ce que le monde peut se permettre de brûler tout en restant dans une zone de sûreté climatique. Pourtant, les grandes entreprises du secteur ne perçoivent pas ces gisements comme la véritable bombe climatique qu’ils sont. Elles y voient plus volontiers une opportunité de croissance et de profits. Tout en obstruant le processus politique, elles sont déterminées à extraire toujours plus de combustibles fossiles et injectent des milliards dans la recherche de nouveaux gisements, plutôt que dans le soutien à une transition nécessaire vers les énergies renouvelables. C’est pourquoi nous appelons Sciences Po à rompre tous les liens l’unissant à une industrie qui contribue à compromettre notre futur. En clair : désinvestissons et sortons le carbone de l’éducation. La destruction du climat ne se fera ni en notre nom, ni avec notre argent ; l’argent doit être investi dans les solutions, et non dans le problème. Nous demandons à notre université la transparence sur leur lien financier qu’elle entretient avec l’industrie fossile, et de mettre fin à tout soutien financier avéré en l’excluant des portefeuilles d’investissements auxquels Sciences Po est lié. Nous lui demandons également de mettre un terme à ses partenariats avec les entreprises fossiles : nous n’acceptons pas que notre université brade son image et sa respectabilité à l’industrie fossile qui s’en sert en retour pour légitimer son activité et s’offre à bas coût un blason d’acceptabilité sociale. *https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1QgU9VN23JaNh2B0pb9eoHM5EMozsznaojpIulQuljDg/edit#gid=663041172 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- To all people who, like us, are younger than 30 years old, and have always lived in a world with temperatures above seasonal averages: we are living in a perpetual state of climate emergency. The Political Science Institute (IEP) has a moral responsibility in the fight against climate change. Our school cannot purport to train tomorrow’s leaders for a more just and sustainable world while continuing to support the fossil fuel industry, which is making our planet uninhabitable. The conclusion is clear: we must leave 80% of fossil fuel reserves in the ground in order to keep global warming “well below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels” and “continue efforts to limit the rise in temperature to 1.5°C,” as the international community agreed with the Paris Accords. To guarantee a sustainable future, we must put an end to the fossil fuel era now! Two hundred companies* own a large majority of proven coal, oil, and gas reserves. These reserves hold almost five times more carbon than what the world can afford to burn if we are to stay within a climatically stable range of warming. Yet this sector’s big companies do not perceive these deposits as the ticking climate bomb that they are. Instead, they see an opportunity for growth and profit. They are determined to extract more and more fossil fuels, and inject billions of dollars in the search for new deposits, rather than supporting the necessary transition towards renewable energy. This is why we are asking Sciences Po to cut all ties with an industry which is contributing to putting our future in peril. In sum: divest, and free education from fossil fuels. The climate’s destruction will not happen in our name, or with our money. This money should be invested in solutions, rather than the problem itself. Our university must withdraw its financial and moral support from fossil fuel companies, exclude them from its investment portfolio, and terminate all partnerships with the industry. We can no longer accept that our university lends its image and respectability to the fossil fuel industry, which in turn uses Sciences Po's clout to legitimize its own activities, and thereby secures social acceptability at low cost. *https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1QgU9VN23JaNh2B0pb9eoHM5EMozsznaojpIulQuljDg/edit#gid=663041172
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  • CalSTRS: Divest from Big Oil
    The Board of the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) has made several important decisions to address the effects of global warming over the last year. It divested from some thermal coal companies and initiated a $2.5 billion low-carbon index fund. It has also conducted ground-breaking discussions about the nature of fiduciary duty — the fund’s responsibility to protect the welfare of its members. This discussion has expanded the definition of fiduciary duty from the usual, purely financial terms to include a consideration of the risk of climate change. But the Board has not gone far enough. Even the numerous good-faith efforts that CalSTRS has made, over a period of many years, to engage constructively with oil and gas companies on climate risk have been unfruitful. Big Oil has not responded in any meaningful way. Therefore, it’s time for the CalSTRS Board to abandon a policy of shareholder engagement. Friendly dialogue and well-meaning resolutions with oil companies have produced no significant results. Despite decades of sustained shareholder efforts on climate change, ExxonMobil, Chevron, and Shell have continued to flout international climate agreements, spread misinformation, and lobby against climate progress. It is time to take decisive action: to divest from all fossil fuels by 2020. Little time remains to avert catastrophe — both financial and environmental. Continued investment in the fossil fuel industry exposes CalSTRS to the risk of the deflating carbon bubble: 80 percent of coal, oil, and gas reserves are unburnable (and therefore ultimately worthless) if we are to adhere to the under-2°C Paris climate agreement target. More than 190 countries have pledged to meet the 2° target. They recognize that climate chaos would not only endanger public welfare, it would disrupt the global economy, putting all of CalSTRS’ assets at risk. Under these circumstances, divestment is the appropriate action for the Board to take as a prudent fiduciary and a cautious investment manager. You can find more information about Fossil Free California's campaigns at FossilFreeCA.org.
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  • Divest the Nobel Foundation from fossil fuels
    We love Nobel. We love how it’s awards celebrate the greatest achievements of, and for, mankind. But there is one thing we do not love; its investments in the fossil fuel industry, which are driving climate change. We therefore call on the Nobel Foundation to commit to divest from fossil fuels. Why is this important? Climate change is the greatest challenge humanity has encountered. Warming in excess of 1.5°C will have catastrophic consequences [1]. In order to have a chance of staying below this temperature rise, 80% of known fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground [2]. The fossil fuel industry currently holds vast carbon reserves which if burnt would result in emissions 5 times larger than that which is scientifically deemed to be safe [2]. All available evidence suggests that fossil fuel companies intend to burn the reserves within their control. In addition, companies such as Shell are actively trying to discover new reserves, often in environmentally sensitive regions. If it is wrong to damage the world we live in, then it is wrong to profit from that damage. Responsible investors should no longer be profiting from the destructive activities of these companies. And especially not the Nobel Foundation, which aims to highlight work done for the benefit of mankind. Fossil fuel investments are becoming increasingly risky as the cost of extraction increases and international treaties restrict the use of fossil fuels [2]. Not only does it make moral sense not to invest in the destruction of our planet, it also makes financial sense. By divesting from fossil fuels, the Nobel Foundation will join institutions such as Stockholm University and city and The Rockefeller Brothers Fund amongst many others [3], in leading by example to help create a sustainable future for our world. References [1] https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/syr/AR5_SYR_FINAL_SPM.pdf [2] http://www.carbontracker.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Unburnable-Carbon-Full-rev2-1.pdf [3] http://gofossilfree.org/commitments/
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  • Divest Staffordshire Pension Fund
    Staffordshire Pension Fund is the Local Government Pension Fund for the county of Staffordshire and is funded through pension contributions from employees of publicly-funded organisations such as Staffordshire County Council, Stoke City Council, the Office of the Chief Constable Staffordshire, Staffordshire University, Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council and other parishes, towns, boroughs and public organisations across Staffordshire. As of 31 December 2015, the Pension Fund holds at least £61,879,853.16 worth of shares in companies from the fossil fuel industry, including £20,180,703.41 worth of shares in six of the world's biggest oil companies: BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Statoil, Chevron, Exxon Mobil and Lukoil, who are jointly responsible for major environmental damage and human rights violations the world over. In total, the Pension Fund holds £42,334,871.79 in 14 of the 90 companies responsible for two-thirds of the global greenhouse gases emissions since 1854. By continuing to grant social legitimacy to the burning of fossil fuels, the Staffordshire Pension Fund and all its participating organisations are complicit in driving unprecedented climate change. Climate change is happening now - we’re already experiencing global temperature rise, warming oceans, shrinking ice sheets and more frequent and intense extreme weather events affecting thousands of communities and millions of people across the world. Investing in fossil fuels is not only damaging to the planet, it's also a very risky investment. The Staffordshire Pension Fund has already seen a massive decrease in its investment, losing £21,573,041.12 (or 25.85%) worth of shares in companies such as Glencore, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Lukoil and others. By removing investments in fossil fuel companies, the Staffordshire Pension Fund and all its participating bodies and organisations will be showing their commitment to creating a healthy, sustainable and financially viable future for both the people of Staffordshire and the planet as a whole. Please sign this petition if you believe that the Staffordshire Pension Fund should divest from fossil fuels to protect the planet and the financial future of thousands of workers from across Staffordshire.
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    Created by Tomasz Kozlowski
  • Divest City of Westminster Borough from Fossil Fuels
    The 33 London local authorities’ pension funds are investing £1,882 million in fossil fuel companies, averaging just over 6% of their total pension investments. Westminster with 7.8% of its total pension invested in fossil fuels is among the 10 London councils with the highest percentage investments. Why Divest? Local authorities in the UK led the way on divesting from apartheid in the 1980s. They can do so again to challenge catastrophic climate change. Moral Argument - Financial Argument – Public Benefit Argument Pensions are for our and our families’ future. But that future is threatened by fossil fuel extraction. It is also a financial argument. When governments finally take climate change seriously and legislate to leave fossil fuels in the ground, shares in oil, gas and coal will become worthless. Funds which don’t invest in fossil fuels often perform as well or better than fossil-fuel heavy funds, so divestment does not mean that existing pension funds lose out. And it is a public benefit argument. By investing this capital into renewable energy, public transport and social housing, local government could create jobs and boost local economies, while protecting pensions.
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    Created by Alex Horn