The Rockefeller family—the heirs of Standard Oil divest from fossil fuels due to climate change.
The Rockefellers released a Divestment statement for the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF), with assets of $860 million in assets is a private charitable foundation established in 1940. The board of trustees in 2010 made a commitment up to 10 percent of the endowment to investments consistent with the foundation’s Sustainable Development program goals, which are focused on “supporting clean energy technologies, businesses that increase efficiency, decrease dependence on fossil fuels, and mitigate the effects of climate change.”
The first step which will be accomplished as quickly as possible in fossil fuel divestments will be coal and tar sands, as they are two of the most intensive sources of carbon emissions—a goal which they are confident can be 99% accomplished by the end of 2014.
The announcement was released a day ahead of the United Nations summit on climate change to perhaps give more political will to the 120 global leaders that were going to discuss how to combat carbon emissions and global warming.
In 2013, the Rockefeller charity gave over $6 million in grants to sustainable development projects.
Besides the RBF earlier in the year Stanford University which has multi-billion dollar endowments have divested from big oil investments as well.
According to the New York Times Hesta Australia, a health care industry retirement fund worth $26 billion, announced last week that it would get out of coal, many retirement funds have not.
The Rockefellers were the co-founders of the Standard Oil Company and eventually operated the world’s biggest refineries, but were later forced to break up the company because of market domination, however the pieces of that company are still some of the largest oil companies in the world: Exxon, Amoco and Chevron.
To have the first family of oil decide to divest their fortune of fossil fuels is not only of huge symbolic importance, but should be a wakeup call to all those that might consider investing in the fossil fuel business in the future.
Stephen Heintz of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund is quoted as saying “We are quite convinced that if he (John D. Rockefeller) were alive today, as an astute businessman looking out to the future, he would be moving out of fossil fuels and investing in clean, renewable energy.”
Video: Heirs of Billionaire Oil Tycoon John D. Rockefeller Join Growing Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement
EV of the Year Judge, independent green journalist, photographer, author and sustainability activist that has published over 1000 articles. Mr Burridge’s travels have taken him to over 30 countries and 300+ major cities. He is originally from the USA, but has been residing in Australia for the last seven years. Connect to Ken Burridge on: Twitter, facebook, Google+, Linked in or website