(By Juan Cole)
Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, told investors at a conference on Wednesday that they should move pension funds out of fossil fuels.
After all, she pointed out, pension funds are for retirement, and future retirees won’t get to enjoy their golden years if the average global temperature climbs above 3.6 degrees F.
There is a major divestment campaign on university campuses, spearheaded by Bill McKibben and his 360 organization, and it would be interesting to know if it influence Figueres.
Divestment is a growing phenomenon. The Norwegian pensions company, Storebrand, has excluded nearly two hundred coal, oil and gas companies from its holdings, and kicked off a further 19 oil and coal companies last summer
Likewise, the mayor of Seattle has instructed city pension fund managers not to invest in hydrocarbons.
Such divestment is the only wise course of action. In reality, all coal, oil and natural gas reserves are worthless. When the public wises up to the way they are causing global climate disruption, it will want the hydrocarbons banned. Divestment is a way of protecting investments from the devastating impact of knowledge of their worthlessness.