Climate action is gathering pace. In the last six months we have seen millions of school children strike, and the UK has just become the first country to commit to reducing its carbon emissions to net zero by 2050. All critical, given the IPCC warning that we have only 12 years to halt catastrophic climate breakdown.
In this, the first London Climate Action Week, we are delighted to announce that the RSA's investments will be divested from fossil fuels.
We have been working with our fund managers, CCLA, to make this change. We already had very limited exposure within our investments but have now taken the step to divest holdings in the remaining oil and gas firms.
Engagement remains an invaluable tool for investors in promoting positive social, environmental and governance activities within firms, across a host of issues from modern slavery to mental health. However, the energy transition we need requires that we halt exploration, extraction and reduce the supply of fossil fuels and instead focus on sustainable energy solutions. Making financial flows consistent with this ambition is critical, and the RSA believes that to achieve this the time has come to divest holdings in fossil fuel firms.
It is a journey that began with the work of our former colleagues Jonathan Rowson and Tony Greenham. We are proud to be part of a global movement of organisations and investors making this change and hope that many other organisations follow suit.
For the final challenge of the Citizens’ Economic Council, we’re crowdsourcing your ideas on how we can shift the incentives within our economy to meet the needs of tomorrow.
With US$ 5.2 trillion now pledged to divest from fossil fuels, Jonathon Rowson reflects on how climate change is better understood as a problem with the financial system as much as an environmental issue.