It’s been described as one of the biggest decisions in the short history of fossil free divestment. We are referring to this week’s decision by forty Roman Catholic groups around the world — from organizations in Africa, Australia, Europe, South America and the U.S. as well a number of international bodies — to shun investing in fossil fuels.
While the exact amount of assets that will be affected was not disclosed, the decision, taken by the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) was made to demonstrate that the 40 groups were ruling out future investments while urging others to follow suit.
The decision, the GCCM said, was “based on shared value of environmental protection and financial wisdom of preparing for a carbon-neutral economy.” Wayne Wachell, chief executive at Vancouver-based Genus Capital Management, one of the country’s first fossil free investment management firms, more than welcomed the news.
“This decision reinforces what we have been saying for the past few years, that the divestment movement is a social movement. The first wave are the churches and value-based organizations and the first wave is about done,” said Wachell, who recently bought a Chevy Bolt e-car. By some estimates about US$5.5 trillion of investable assets has been divested.
Genus created Genus Fossil Free four years back, “to better align the values of our clients with their investments and help address some of the world’s pressing socioeconomic and environmental challenges.”