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How Fossil Fuel Divestment Can Rewrite the Climate Narrative



You certainly can't build a climate narrative solely on fossil fuel divestment because a large percentage of greenhouse gas emissions is not directly related to obtaining energy from fossil fuels. So no one narrative will do. Besides fossil fuels it is also about deforestation, eating meat and dairy, using nitrogen fertilizers for agriculture, CFCs in refrigerators and air conditioners, making steel and cement, etc. In addition, the second biggest contributor to global warming is supposedly emissions of soot. So we multiple narratives leading to a comprehensive approach.


I'd add the damming of rivers for large-scale hydroelectric for heavy industrial mining / production, the large-scale globalized centralized model of agriculture for export, the 'planned obsolescence' model of industrial production and egregious externalized cost of mountains and seas of waste.


Divestment has no impact on oil companies. When an organization or an individual "divests" of oil company stocks, that just means they've sold all of their shares to a willing buyer. Without a willing buyer, divestment wouldn't even be possible. As long as corporate fundamentals are sound, the sale of large blocks of share will have, at most, a temporary effect on overall share value.

Not that it matters to the oil company. They issued the shares to generate capital. That happened on the first sale. Subsequent trading of shares neither benefits nor punishes the company. It just changes the name on dividend checks.

The whole divestment campaign is silly. It may make you feel like David facing Goliath, but you're having absolutely no impact on your target.




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Yes, I agree.

Divesting from Fossil fuel company shares would only help if the money is then used to provide new capital to renewable energy companies and/or used to reduce fossil fuel requirement of the organization itself.
Demand reduction is the best way to leave the fossil fuel in the ground.