Clip: Can Divestment Change the Fossil Fuel Industry?

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Taking inspiration from the hugely successful South African anti-apartheid campaign, Bill’s guests this week are urging foundations, faith groups, pension funds, municipalities and universities to sell their shares in polluting industries and reinvest in companies committed to climate change solutions.

Ellen Dorsey is executive director of the Wallace Global Fund and a catalyst in the coalition of 17 foundations known as Divest-Invest Philanthropy. Thomas Van Dyck is Senior Vice President – Financial Advisor at RBC Wealth Management, and founder of the shareholder advocacy foundation, As You Sow. Dorsey and Van Dyck told Bill student activists are stepping up to fight against climate change after American politicians failed to pass meaningful legislation.


“By putting the target on the fossil fuel industry, the goal is not to have an immediate economic impact … but to isolate it as a moral pariah like apartheid, like tobacco,” Dorsey said.

Van Dyck adds: “[The industry’s] vision of what the planet looks like and the idea of being able to drill and burn all the fossil fuels that they have on their balance sheets today is just something that civilization cannot survive.”

Watch the full interview.

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