The Rockefeller Brothers Fund is joining a group of philanthropists to divest nearly $50 billion USD in fossil fuels investments and shifting into ‘clean energy’ according to an article posted on the BBC website. This move will coincide with the UN summit on climate change in NYC this week. Some 650 individuals and 180 institutions have joined the coalition. The origins of this movement can be tracked to the Global Divest-Invest that has grown out of a grassroots movement on US campuses several years ago.
The importance of a group such as the Rockefeller’s, that can trace their origins to the Oil industry, is very telling that the global economy is seeing the greatest opportunities in clean, renewable energy.
Rockefeller Brothers Fund director Stephen Heintz said the move to divest from fossil fuels would be in line with oil tycoon John D Rockefeller’s wishes,
“We are quite convinced that if he were alive today, as an astute businessman looking out to the future, he would be moving out of fossil fuels and investing in clean, renewable energy,” Mr Heintz said in a statement.
“There is a moral imperative to preserve a healthy planet,” Valerie Rockefeller Wayne, a great-great-granddaughter of Mr Rockefeller and a trustee of the fund (valued at $860 million total), is quoted by the Washington Post as saying.
This comes on the heels of news of over 400,000 people marching in New York City and over 2000 locations worldwide this past weekend for the Climate Change March, demanding urgent action on climate change and calling for curbs on carbon emissions. Business leaders, celebrities, politicians, and environmentalists were all in attendance at the march which was organized by The People’s Climate March.
It is one thing when you bring large numbers of people together for a social cause such as the Occupy Wallstreet in 2011 that had an overall vague mandate of income inequality. In comparison, the Climate Change movement has clear goals and is now being backed by financial interests which ultimately can/will lead to strong change in policy and economic drivers.