One argument made against the divestment campaign is that Trustees (responsible for the Fund) have to ensure that the Fund’s investments are sound, with the implication being that “ethical” investments are less reliable.
Let’s look at GMPF’s top five investments: these graphs show their share prices over the last year. Do you notice a common pattern? A lot of the investment has perished, and given that they represent un-burnable carbon that must stay in the ground, assets stranded before the rise of renewables and energy efficiency, it might never be recovered, and at best these investments will continue to be very volatile.
Now, these investments are, paradoxically, still delivering reasonable returns, but we can’t say how long that will continue. Governments worldwide provide huge subsidies for the fossil fuel industry, but again that situation will begin to change as the global divestment campaign grows.
Economically, as well as for the climate, we say: freeze fossil fuel investments now and begin a five year programme of divestment, reinvesting where possible directly in the viable, local economy.