WWF: Divestment report highlights climate risk to investors



Posted on 08 October 2013  | 
Global Warming Images / WWF-Canon
© Global Warming Images / WWF-CanonEnlarge
Commenting on a new report published today by the University of Oxford's Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment on the fossil fuel divestment movement, WWF said that the research provided further evidence of the real risks to fossil fuel investments.

The independent research finds that the valuation of high-carbon assets could be significantly impaired over time because of the indirect effects of the divestment movement. It says that investors would be running a significant risk if they ignore both the potential impact of this growing movement and the increasing concern around stranded assets and the ‘carbon bubble’.

David Nussbaum, Chief Executive at WWF-UK, said: “On the back of the IPCC giving us the clearest signal yet of the threats posed by a changing climate, and highlighting the need to act decisively to address the problem, it’s clear that we must consider the risks to businesses and investors posed by investments in fossil fuels.

“Prudent investors want to be ahead of pack, not following the herd, so they will be preparing for a world where we leave fossil fuels in the ground – avoiding assets that cannot be realised safely in a carbon-constrained world. If they do nothing, the risk is that policy changes and pressures such as the divestment campaign will mean investments could depreciate in value and might become stranded.

“It’s not as if we don’t have solutions. We need to switch from investing in damaging fossil fuels and increase intelligent investment in sustainable renewable energy. Renewable energy isn’t just the best choice, it’s ultimately our only option, because the way the world produces and uses energy today is not sustainable, and has to change.”

WWF is calling on investors and financiers around the world to end their support for coal and to increase investments in sustainable, renewable energy, including energy access for the poor.
Global Warming Images / WWF-Canon
© Global Warming Images / WWF-Canon Enlarge

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