One year after the passing of the Paris climate agreement, the value of assets represented by the 688 institutions and 58,399 individuals committed to divest from fossil fuel companies has reached $5 trillion. The divestment movement was sparked by mission-driven institutions acting on a moral imperative, followed by a second wave driven by financial concerns and now an emerging phase rooted in fiduciary duty.
In our report, we highlight trends in four areas: 1) global divestment commitments, 2) clean energy investing, 3) the global anti-fossil fuel movement, and 4) the fossil fuel industry. The growing capital in the clean energy sector, convergence of divestment advocacy with broader climate activism, and growing market and regulatory pressure on the fossil fuel industry are contributing to great risk for the sector.
Methodologically, we considered any public commitment to divest from top fossil fuel companies, including those from institutions that chose to divest from specific fossil fuel companies rather than all. We counted neither institutions that solely opted to freeze future investments, nor those that passed a pro-divestment resolution without implementation. We obtained data on assets from various sources outlined in the report, however some institutions and individuals declined to report on their assets, meaning the $5 trillion figure is a significant under-estimate.