Divestment and you

Small steps…

  • Check your own investments – especially your pension – and divest (or ask your pension manager to divest) from fossil fuels.
  • Choose alternative investments that support the transition to a greener future through sustainable, environmentally-friendly practices.
  • Be loud and proud of your decision to join the growing movement!


Ah, the beauty (cough) of a sunset (cough cough). Photo courtesy of Diana Parkhouse

We urgently need to stop extracting fossil fuels in order to avoid climate catastrophe, yet the gas and oil industries’ raison d’être is the continued extraction of fossil fuels. There’s no room for doubt and no time for shades of grey; the two are simply incompatible.

Unfortunately our lives are so entwined with fossil fuel use, and the companies behind fossil fuel extraction so powerful, that this fundamental incompatibility is often obscured with specious argument – none of which can overlook the fact that an investment in fossil fuels is an investment in the destruction of our planet.

The best response is to divest – to sell any holdings in gas and oil. Even those without personal investments will likely have a pension and, since pensions are premised upon long-term returns, they’re surely the clearest illustration of the illogicality of investing in fossil fuels.

If you have personal holdings in gas or oil, divest. If you manage your own pension, divest. If you’re part of a company scheme, ask those running it to divest. In doing so, you’ll be joining the growing movement of worldwide funds, universities, faith groups, cultural institutions and even entire cities who have committed to going fossil free. 

And if you want to take it further, get involved in campaigning to encourage institutions – including the enormous parliamentary and council pension funds – to divest.

Better yet, reinvest your divested holdings in socially responsible funds that work towards local, community-led energy solutions. There’s a whole world out there of individuals and businesses determined to address the climate crisis by creating a fairer world; they just need your support.

ShareAction explainer, courtesy of Clem mcculloch

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