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Will Fossil Fuel Divestment Force Agriculture to Change Dramatically?

Touch the Soil News # 152

The social pressure, to move civilization beyond fossil fuels is growing by the day. Divestitures of fossil fuel investments are becoming the new way to demonstrate “green.” Fossil fuel divestment is the removal of investment assets including stocks, bonds or other investments in fossil fuel industries. The thought is to reduce carbon emissions and accelerate renewable energy. Driving the popularity of divestments are the physical manifestations of climate change.

The fossil fuel divestment movement is no small movement. It is the fastest growing divestment movement in history. HSBC bank – one of the world’s largest – recently reported that international climate change actions could cut in half the value of fossil fuel investments. Depending on what report you read, estimates are that the fossil fuel industry has a market capitalization of $5 trillion. So who wants to continue to be invested in an industry that the world is increasingly targeting for closure?

So who is divesting from fossil fuels? Some of the largest investment pools in the world are divesting including the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, World Council of Churches, Ben & Jerry’s Foundation, United Methodist Church, Unitarian Universalist Association and the list goes on and on as over 300 foundations, faith-based groups, governmental organizations, colleges and universities and financial institutions are actively divesting of fossil fuel investments.

The recent published report by the International Monetary Fund which puts the cost of fossil fuel subsidies at $5.3 trillion a year comes at a time when most people and most nations are financially limited. Putting a number on the fossil fuel subsidy is a huge philosophical nail in the coffin of fossil fuels. Fighting for money is a powerful driver of change.

Farmers who don’t see the writing on the wall as it relates to fossil fuels – and commence a path in a different direction – may find themselves one day without a fossil fuel infrastructure sufficiently affordable to sustain farming as we know it.

Following are two video clips on fossil fuel divestiture. The first is by one of the world’s top news companies – The Guardian. The second is by Democracy Now as it covers the billionaires and hundreds of enterprises giving the movement traction.

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