Over 500 institutions commit to fossil fuel divestment

divest cop21 activists
Protestors campaigning against the further use of fossil fuels hold a demonstration at the COP21 site in Le Bourget, near Paris on December 2, 2015. Image: IISD Reporting Services

Nineteen French cities and the French Parliament will announce a commitment to divest from fossil fuels on Wednesday, joining more than 500 instituions holding $3.4 trillion in assets.

The number has jumped from 181 institutions representing $50 billion who agreed to remove investments in oil, gas or coal companies from their portfolios in 2014, according to environmental activist group 350.org and NGO Divest-Invest, which have coordinated the global divestment movement.

“Wednesday’s announcement is another sign in the early days of the Paris Climate Summit that investors are reading the writing on the wall and dramatically shifting capital away from fossil fuels and towards clean, renewable energy,” the groups said in a press release.

Other recent divestment announcements include Dutch pension fund PFZW, which committed to divest from coal companies and reduce its investments in other fossil fuel companies and European insurance company Allianz, which divested 630 million of its own capital investment portfolio from coal.

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