When it comes to the fossil fuel industry, money talks. Energy companies have mountains of money to start huge, damaging projects and then run slick advertising campaigns to support them. Without money they would be nowhere.
Divestment is the reduction of an asset for financial, ethical or political objectives and is not a new concept when it comes to taking action.
Banks, superannuation funds and the government all have custody over the money of the Australian people. While we just file away our money into our bank accounts and super fund, those organisations can invest it into anything they think will make a profit. Almost all the major banks invest your money into fossil fuels. Most superannuation funds do as well.
The sum total of Australian superannuation is approximately $1.3 trillion. That amount of money can have an incredible impact; the community really does have the ability to hold to account the custodians of their money to ensure it isn’t used to promote fossil fuel. If only a small percentage of people took their money away from banks and super funds, then they would be forced to listen.
Campaigns have started around the country for group divestments, to send a real message to these companies.
Groups like Market Forces put pressure on companies to take responsibility for their investments. Go Fossil Free is pressuring government bodies and public institutions to do that same. Groups like Fossil Free help people make the step to divest their money. BankTrack tracks the operations and investments of commercial banks and reports it back to their customers.
You can find out more about divestment here.