Fossil fuel divestment: a $5 trillion challenge

Hay Point, Queensland © Greenpeace Australia Pacific

Hay Point, Queensland © Greenpeace Australia Pacific

Bloomberg New Energy Finance, August 25th 2014

Oil & gas and coal companies form one of the world’s largest asset classes, worth nearly $5trn at current stock market values. In the past two years, dozens of public and private institutions have announced plans to divest fossil fuels from their portfolios – a movement one executive described as “one of the fastest-moving debates I think I’ve seen in my 30 years in markets”.

Fossil fuels are investor favourites for a reason. Few sectors offer the scale, liquidity, growth, and yield of these century-old businesses vital to today’s economy. This White Paper explores the motivations behind fossil fuel divestment, the scale of existing fossil fuel investments, and potential alternatives for investment re-allocated from oil, gas, and coal stocks. The key finding from the report is that significant divestment from coal would be much easier than significant divestment from oil and gas.

Read the full white paper here