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Responsible Investment, Transitions to Low Carbon Economies and Divestment


by Betsan Martin

The burning of fossil fuels is a major cause of climate change. We worked with 350.Org and with church leaders to host a seminar on divestment and transitions to law carbon economies.

The burning of fossil fuels is a major cause of climate change. A rapid overhaul of carbon-intensive economies is required if global warming is to be kept within safe limits. Churches and other institutional investors are in a position to exercise leadership in this transition.

350.Org is an international youth organization, which is committed to climate solutions. At present they are running an international campaign to get churches and Universities to ‘divest’ from fossil fuels. They are asking for investments in the major fossil fuel companies to be withdrawn and reinvested in renewable energy.

We worked with 350.Org and with church leaders to host a seminar on divestment and transitions to law carbon economies. The seminar was held on 27 March 2014, in Wellington.

We had very eloquent speakers – a University leader in governance, a economist and political commentator and an ‘overseas development’ leader who spelled out the ethical opportunities of investment, comparing divestment from fossil fuel companies with divestment from companies in South Africa during apartheid.

One of the huge challenges of climate change is the exponential costs of disasters. Traditional sources of relief though development agencies will not be able to continue to meet the needs of disaster relief. This is a powerful and pragmatic reason for the need for climate responsibility with binding agreements, so that the tide can be turned on the mounting scale of human, economic and environmental disaster.

Programme of the seminar

Published on: 29 May 2014
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