Divestment does not reduce demand. By 2040 the IEA predicts “fossil fuels will still account for 77% of the world energy use”.
Divestment does not reduce emissions.
The usual consequences of divestment is often a mere transfer of ownership of divested assets from one investor to another (for every seller there’s a buyer).
Divestment interferes with bringing the most affordable, reliable energies to the masses.
Divestment has no ability to alter the basic economic realities that it is the supply of and demand for fossil fuels that creates the market valuations of energy companies, not the reverse.
Oil and Gas
The divestment movement will not reduce demand for oil and gas. It will transfer supply of fossil fuel to companies that are more polluting, less transparent, less sensitive to societal pressures, and less committed to emissions reductions.
Divestment does not reduce demand for natural resources.
Why Investment is Right
Investment decisions for funds (endowment and other) must be based on one thing: a fiduciary duty to determine which investments will bring the best financial returns.
Investment means you have influence as a shareholder in hydrocarbon and other natural resources companies. If you don’t have a seat at the table, your voice isn’t heard.
Hydrocarbon companies are the biggest investors in renewable energy such as solar and wind power generation, and in research (including university research) for technologies to improve conservation, efficiency and overall environmental sustainability. Investment in these companies will increase their ability to invest in these other efforts.
For the foreseeable future, innovation in the fossil fuel sector is just as important to emissions reductions as is innovation in the renewable sector. Investing in the sector will fuel innovation in the sector.
Investment means working with resources sectors in order to bring about meaningful change.