Fossil Fuel Divestment/Reinvestment

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It is wrong to wreck the climate, and it is wrong to profit from that wreckage. We believe that educational and religious institutions, city and state governments, foundations and other institutions that serve the public good should divest from fossil fuels.

Fossil fuel divestment takes the fossil fuel industry to task for its culpability in the climate crisis. By  naming this industry’s singularly destructive influence — and by highlighting the moral dimensions of climate change — we hope that the fossil fuel divestment movement can help break the hold that the fossil fuel industry has on our economy and our governments.

We want these institutions to immediately freeze any new investment in fossil fuel companies, and divest from direct ownership and any commingled funds that include fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds within 5 years. Learn more about the world-wide divestment movement here.

200 public companies hold the vast majority of listed coal, oil and gas (natural gas and propane) reserves, reserves which they need to ‘keep in the ground’ if we are to have a livable climate for our children and grandchildren. These are the companies we’re asking our institutions to divest from. The demands we are making of these companies are clear because they reflect the stark truth of climate science:

  • They need to immediately stop exploring for new hydrocarbons.
  • They need to stop lobbying in Washington and state capitols across the country to preserve their special breaks.
  • Most importantly, they need to pledge to keep 80% of the world´s current reserves underground forever.

Our divestment team is the local arm of international 350.org’s divestment campaign. Our goal is to be informed about global divestment efforts and to use this information to persuade local governments, colleges and universities, foundations and other local not-for-profit organizations to drop fossil fuel investments from their portfolios.

We use various strategies: meeting with elected officials and boards of not-for-profit organizations, supporting college students and alumni who are organizing to encourage their schools to divest, circulating petitions requesting divestiture, actions to draw attention to divestment and to those who are resisting divestment and publicizing divestment opportunities and decisions.

Multnomah County and the Metro have made the divestment commitment in response to our work with them. We also worked with the City of Portland which put fossil fuel companies on its do-not-buy list. We’ve now turned our attention to organizing Oregon PERS members who want their pension investments divested. This project could include asking the state legislature to pass a divestment bill or bringing our own citizen initiative to the voters.

We also encourage you to align your own investments with your values and personally divest.

We meet monthly. Scroll down for more information on the different areas we work in. Contact us to get involved.

Government Divestment

Our team meets with local and state governments to advocate that they divest their investments. Our newest campaign is Divest Oregon PERS, the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System. If you are a PERS member and would like to join this effort click here

Alternative Energy Investment

As we make a just transition to the fossil-free economy, our team is working on making sure the proposed rules for Oregon’s Community Solar will encourage the participation of a diversity of households and the installation of a sizeable number of solar panels.

We are also monitoring the Oregon Clean Power Cooperative which offers a way for Oregon residents to help put renewable energy projects on buildings or land owned by governments, schools and other not-for-profit organizations.

Foundation Divestment

Our Divestment team is contacting local foundations to ask that they match their investing values with their granting values and divest from fossil fuels.

If you have a relationship with a foundation, please let us know; an introduction is crucial to our success with them. You can also Ask them to divest yourself! If you do so, please let us know.

Personal Divestment & Reinvestment

We gather information about how individuals can work with their personal financial advisers to divest their personal assets from fossil fuels and reinvest. Learn more here

Campus Divestment

Whether you’re a student, an alum, or on staff at one of Oregon’s institutions of higher learning, you can raise your voice to support divesting your school’s endowment of fossil fuel holdings. Don’t see your school on the list? Send us an email, and we’ll help you get started.