Leonardo DiCaprio joins $2.6trn divestment drive
Leonardo DiCaprio has pledged to divest his personal wealth and charitable foundation's fund from fossil fuels, joining a group of investors worth more than $2.6trn, according to new figures.
A report from Arabella Advisors has revealed that the divestment movement has grown 50-fold over the last year, now featuring 400 institutions and 2,000 individuals.
DiCaprio, who announced his own divestment this week, said: “Climate change is severely impacting the health of our planet and all of its inhabitants, and we must transition to a clean energy economy that does not rely on fossil fuels, the main driver of this global problem.
“After looking into the growing movement to divest from fossil fuels and invest in climate solutions, I was convinced to make the pledge on behalf of myself and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.
“Now is the time to divest and invest to let our world leaders know that we, as individuals and institutions, are taking action to address climate change, and we expect them to do their part this December in Paris at the U.N. climate talks."
Other recent notable divestment commitments include the British Medical Association, the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, the Norway Pension Fund, the World Council of Churches and the University of California system.
“If these numbers tell us anything, it’s that the divestment movement is catching fire,” said May Boeve, the executive Director of environmental group 350.org.
“Since starting on the campuses of a few colleges in the U.S., this movement has struck a chord with people across the world who care about climate change, and convinced some of the largest and most influential institutions in the world to begin pulling their money out of climate destruction.
“That makes me hopeful for our future, and it’s sending a clear message to world leaders as they head into Paris: It’s time for them to follow suit, and divest our governments from fossil fuel companies too.”
WWF-UK CEO David Nussbaum also welcomed the flood of commitments to the divestment cause, adding: “The writing has been on the wall for so long and it is time for everyone to take the initiative and do what they can to combat climate change, which is a critical challenge to people and nature.
“The science says 80% of coal must stay in the ground, and we don’t have the luxury of time if we are to keep the global temperature rise to below 2 C. This move sends a strong signal to governments ahead of the Paris climate conference. Divestment opens up the political space needed for meaningful action around climate change.”
“Money talks. Policy makers should have the courage to listen.”
The divestment announcement was made at Climate Week NYC, where big companies have been making bold pledges all week. Nike and Starbucks were among those pledging to go 100% renewable, while Microsoft and Adidas were among big businesses backing a new UN scheme that encourages businesses and consumers to become 'climate neutral'.