Fossil Divestment and Engagement

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Many investors are acutely aware of the risks from global warming, including sea-level rise, storm surges, droughts, wildfires, extreme heat, and extreme weather events.  Consequently, many ethical and sustainably-orientated investors have focused on reduction in industrial carbon emissions among other measures to hasten progress to a carbon-neutral economy. Fossil divestment is one approach, although some investors argue that engagement with fossil companies is more effective in promoting essential change.

This article outlines divestment and explores what engagement with fossil firms should involve, suggesting limits to the of time spent talking with companies if there are no meaningful signs of progress.

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Q G Rayer (2019), Fossil divestment and engagement, DISCUS, available at, 4 pages, 2 May 2019.


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