Stunning Gains for Divest Invest

October 21, 2015
by
Clara Vondrich and Allison Barlow

This post was authored by Clara Vondrich, Global Director of Divest-Invest Philanthropy, and Allison Barlow, Program Director for Democracy and Media at the Wallace Global Fund.

Just over a year ago, the Divest Invest movement announced that entities managing assets of more than $52 billion had agreed to divest from fossil fuels. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund was among the 71 foundations at the time that had pledged to Divest and Invest--helping shift capital flows from fossil fuels to climate solutions, like renewable energy, sustainable agriculture and clean energy access for the world's poor. That day, the movement set a goal of tripling divest commitments before the Paris climate talks. 

On September 22, we announced that the assets under management (AUM) of individuals and institutions committed to divestment has soared to over $2.6 trillion. Not three times, as was our goal, but fifty times last year's total. Leonardo DiCaprio joined us at a press conference to announce he was divesting his personal fortune, in addition to that of his Foundation. To date more than 115 foundations and family offices have taken the Divest-Invest Pledge, and the AUM of the philanthropic signatories has more than doubled from $4.2 billion last year to over $10 billion today. Notably, the Children's Investment Fund Foundation joined us just days ago, becoming our largest foundation member.

Organizations united as the Divest-Invest Network worked tirelessly over the past year to make this feat possible. These groups include: 350.org, Responsible Endowments Coalition, Divest Student Network, Environmental Action Coalition, Green Faith, Hip Hop Caucus, Mayors Innovation Project, Health Care Without Harm, As You Sow, Social Ventures Network, Sierra Student Coalition, Green Corps and more. 

The media response (coordinated by the team at Fenton Communications) has been exceptional; a few articles are posted below. You can find the 2015 Arabella Report here, and watch the press event here.

The September 22 announcement also kicked off Pledge Month, a time when a coalition of more than 20 progressive allies will be inviting their members and allies to take the Divest-Invest Individual Pledge. 

We encourage foundations that have not yet committed to Divest Invest to join us! To learn more contact Clara Vondrich.

Media coverage highlights:

Bloomberg: Fossil-Fuel Divestment Movement Exceeds $2.6 Trillion

Reuters: Actor DiCaprio Joins Growing Movement to Divest from Fossil Fuels

International Business Times: Pope Francis Visit To US: Pope's Call To Climate Action Inspires Activism Among Catholic Investors

The Guardian: Leonardo DiCaprio joins $2.6tn fossil fuel divestment movement

Upworthy: Leonardo DiCaprio shocked the fossil fuel industry with a simple but powerful move

Mashable: Leonardo DiCaprio joins fossil fuel divestment movement as it reaches $2.6 trillion mark

People: Leonardo DiCaprio Commits to Selling His Fossil Fuel Investments to Support Clean Energy

 

Clara Vondrich is the Global Director of Divest-Invest Philanthropy, where she manages the foundation sector for the broader Divest-Invest movement, which now spans universities, sovereign wealth funds, cities, pension funds, insurance companies, health organizations, faith groups and individuals. Until June 2015, Clara served as Account Director for Climate & Energy at Fenton Communications. There, she led client efforts on a range of campaigns, including divest-invest, anti-fracking, defending climate science, and the clean energy transition.

 

Allison Barlow is the Program Director for Democracy and Media at the Wallace Global Fund. Prior to joining the Fund she served as program advisor and consultant to the HKH Foundation, the Quixote Foundation, Beldon Fund, the State Infrastructure Fund, Open Society Foundations and other funders interested in catalyzing social change across issue areas.

From our Blog

Blog posted on November 4, 2013
This blog post takes a look at how philanthropy can leverage Divest-Invest principles, which encourage divesting assets from fossil fuels and investing in clean energy and sustainable practices and...

Upcoming Events

Mar 30
2020
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Stay Informed