For a stable climate, fewer wars, healthy children, clear air & water, a switch to wind & solar energy, green jobs, stable energy costs and energy independence, cleaner governance, more land for food and forests, sound investments and quieter cities, it’s time to divest from fossil fuels: oil, gas and coal.
Climate change, mostly caused by burning fossil fuels, is a highly probable, potentially deadly threat to humanity. Government actions to slow climate change remain inadequate and fossil fuel companies continue to block change.
If you’re frustrated by governments’ failure to stop climate breakdown, then you should be asking your
- retirement fund,
- or union,
to stop investing in fossil fuels.
We are a network of South Africans (PBO 930049178, NPO 149-064) calling for divestment from fossil fuels – and restorative reinvestment in sustainable energy – to stigmatise fossil fuel use, accelerate sustainable system change, help slow climate change, reduce the financial risks of fossil fuel investments, and so help secure our human rights and common future.
Continued investments in fossil fuels pose substantial direct (via climate damage) and indirect portfolio risks to investors.
They also represent massive lost opportunities, as the creative economic and social potential of investments in the sustainable economy now holds massive transformative potential for countries like South Africa that are burdened with mass poverty and inequality.
Our campaign began in November 2013 with a call on the University of Cape Town to divest. In June 2017, we helped persuade the City of Cape Town to become the first city in an African or developing country to divest. We are part of the growing global movement for divestment first inspired by 350.org.
- Please subscribe to our newsletter for regular updates on our work.
- Read more about the logic of fossil fuel divestment.
- Read stories of how individual South Africans have worked to divest.
- Read our position paper.
- Look at the astonishing list of global institutions that have committed to divestment.
- Get in touch.
Do the Math
To really understand the heart and soul (and mind) of this movement, please take a little time to watch Do The Math.
Three numbers (highlighted by Bill McKibben in this Rolling Stone article):
2 degrees: The world’s nations have agreed to hold average global warming below two degrees. (Update: This target has been reduced, as of 2015, to 1.5 degrees, as we now understand that even 0.5C more global warming will have catastrophic consequences.)
565 gigatonnes: “Scientists estimate that humans can pour roughly 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by midcentury and still have some reasonable hope (80%) of staying below two degrees.” (Update: This number is regularly revised, but any additional carbon emissions now represent an unacceptably high risk of worsening climate damage.)
2,795 Gigatonnes: “…the amount of carbon already contained in the proven coal and oil and gas reserves of the fossil-fuel companies, and the countries (think Venezuela or Kuwait) that act like fossil-fuel companies. In short, it’s the fossil fuel we’re currently planning to burn.”
In short, fossil fuel companies are planning to burn more than five times the amount of coal, gas and oil that is safe for humanity, and they have to be stopped. Here’s an updated analysis of the math, done by Carbontracker.org.
More information and resources
Being a global movement, there is a great wealth of resources available from the hundreds of campaigns starting up around the world. Articles – Campus Campaigns – Faith Campaigns – Graphics – Guides & Handbooks – Lists & Charts – Local Government – Local Government Campaigns – Materials – Other Reports – Templates