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One avenue to encourage a more rapid transition from dirty fossil fuels to a clean energy economy is through socially responsible investment, or in this case, disinvestment. If we want fossil fuels to stop dominating the global economy and our political decision makers, then we need to stop buying into them.

So it was great news back in September that the Rockefeller Brothers Fund announced they would divest from fossil fuels.

Besides being one of the most prolific supporters of groups working for the public good, today's Rockefeller Brothers Fund is descended from the powerful oil company that helped establish today's fossil-fuel based economy. For that reason, this was a powerful statement; as actor and fracktivist Mark Ruffalo said at the conference: “These people here today have decided to put their money where their mouth is and to implement change another way.”

They made the statement at a Divest-Invest conference on September 22nd in advance of the UN Global Climate Summit in New York.

The conference is worth watching. And the transcript is linked here. The comments made at the conference offer a window onto the new world that is coming.

Also speaking/participating at the event were (speaker bios here)

  • Dr. Ellen Dorsey, Executive Director, Wallace Global Fund (Moderator) Scott Wallace, Co-Chair, Wallace Global Fund
  • Archbishop Desmond Tutu (by video)
  • Stephen Heintz, President, Rockefeller Brothers Fund
  • Dr. Agnes Abuom, Moderator, World Council of Churches Central Committee
  • Mark Ruffalo, Actor and Activist
  • David Blood, Co-Founder, Generation Investment Management, formerly Goldman Sachs
  • Frances Beinecke, President, Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Gary Cohen, Co-Founder and President, Health Care Without Harm
  • Amanda Hanley, Co-Founder and Director, Hanley Family Foundation
  • Jihan Gearon, Executive Director, Black Mesa Water Coalition
  • Jess Grady-Benson, Student Speaker, Pitzer College