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Fossil Fuel Divestment and Your 401-K

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Its time to call those in charge of our 401-K and other mutual funds and ask them to set up a policy of divestment from fossil fuel depended industries.


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By Kevin Stoda

I am happy to read a recent article from FORBES on the topic of fossil fuel divestment. The article is entitled Fossil Fuel Divestment Is a Timely issue for Investors. Three universities in the USA have already dis-invested their portfolios of fossil fuel industry investment in the past few months. The author of the FORBES article, Mindy Lubber, writes,

"I n evaluating fossil fuel stocks, the calculus for institutional investors has some complications. University endowments are designed to benefit future generations of students whose educations will be financed by the endowments, directly or indirectly. Pension funds have an obligation to keep pension promises to current and future retirees decades into the future. As long as returns on fossil fuel stocks remain high (and subsidized by the lack of a price on carbon pollution), they will remain highly attractive to asset managers who must meet their duty to maximize returns. But they have a fiduciary duty to meet the needs of their investors, students and beneficiaries over the long term as well."

Most of us have 401-Ks and similar sort of investments that are going to be effected. We need to contact those that run those investments to begin the rational long term divestment from fossil fuel dependency. Bill McKibbon and others note that the math is adding up as climate warming continues at a fast pace. McKibbon said recently in Democracy Now, "[T] his industry [commonly invested in global energy dependent firms] has five times as much carbon in its reserves as the most conservative scientists on earth says would be safe to burn. Once you know the numbers, there's no longer any sort of doubt about how this story comes out: Unless we rewrite the script, if we follow their business plan, the planet tanks."

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In short, divestment begins now. Contact those in charge of your investments and the investments your children and grandchildren will be needing. I will send this FORBES article to the ones who run my retirement funds and ask them to implement a responsible divestment strategy this very month.
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KEVIN STODA-has been blessed to have either traveled in or worked in nearly 100 countries on five continents over the past two and a half decades.--He sees himself as a peace educator and have been-- a promoter of good economic and social development--making-him an enemy of my homelands humongous DEFENSE SPENDING and its focus on using weapons to try and solve global (more...)

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