Fossil fuel divestment campaign calls on Gates Foundation and Wellcome Trust to remove combined $70 billion from threatening industries
Having reached the mainstream with new backing from the United Nations, the global fossil fuel divestment campaign continues to gain momentum. On Monday, the Guardian news agency launched a campaign calling on the world’s two largest charitable foundations, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust, to follow the lead of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and nearly 200 other prominent universities and institutions by divesting their holdings from the fossil fuel industry.
“We are calling on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust to remove their investments from the top 200 fossil fuel companies and any commingled funds that include fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds within five years,” the news service announced in a statement.
Since the campaign’s inception in 2010, 180 institutions worth a combined $50 billion have committed to divest.
Launched by 350.org, the fossil fuel divestment campaign was modeled after similar efforts to target corrupt industries, such as tobacco, and governments accused of human rights violations. The divestment campaign against the apartheid regime in South Africa is perhaps the most well-known example, while the ongoing Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (or BDS) movement continues to press Israel for their violations of international law and Palestinian rights.
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