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Exploring Divestment as a Strategy for Change

Exploring Divestment as a Strategy for Change

An Evaluation of the History, Success, and Challenges of Fossil Fuel Divestment

The campaign for divestment from fossil fuels and investment in solutions to climate change has, in only four years, spread from a small number of college campuses in the United States to around the world. Colleges, public and private foundations, pension funds, and even some of the world’s largest investors, have committed to some form of divestment. While the campaign has already influenced the conversation around climate and the worlds markets, there are conflicts in some of the strategies the campaign is using, not least its connection to the argument that divesting will improve portfolio returns. Analysis of these challenges, as well as a comparison to past divestment movements, helps to inform the effectiveness of this campaign and the possibilities for other similar efforts.


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