Divest-Invest Philanthropy

Following up on my earlier blog on the decision by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund to divest their holdings in fossil fuels to renewables, this is part of a strategy developed at the UN during Climate Week, when more than 70 foundations in collaboration with individuals, universities, faith-based groups, schools, hospitals and cities from around the world—representing $50 billion—announced they would divest from fossil fuels and invest in new energy solutions.

 This is the first I have heard of divest-invest philanthropy and there is a real example of its power for real change and social innovation, in the divestment from apartheid in South Africa. It is more than just a sale of an asset; it send a powerful signal. In a recent op-ed, Archbishop Desmond Tutu wrote: “People of conscience need to break their ties with corporations financing the injustice of climate change”. He argues we need to end our addiction to fossil fuels.

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