Divestment is the elimination of investments in fossil energies. It is not yet considered a global trend, but it has the potential to become one. Divestment developed from a grassroots movement in the English-speaking world to a global campaign, which is being joined by more and more institutional investors, pension funds, cities and private investors. Even people who are initially not interested in joining this climate protection movement will be victims of divestment thinking because less and less money can be earned worldwide with fossil energies. There are many reasons for this: the prices and therefore the profits declined due to a growing range of renewable energies as well as overcapacities. Thus, investors and owners are getting nervous and committing themselves to climate protection goals, while governments are strengthening regulations and discussing taxes on carbon dioxide.
According to a study by the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, these are the main reasons why the four big German energy groups are restructuring, selling business units and withdrawing from fossil and nuclear production as well as waste disposal, and are instead investing more heavily in renewable energies. The study also reports that these changes have nothing to do with the pressure of the divestment movement. Nevertheless, divestors are convincing more and more investors to withdraw from fossil investments with exactly these arguments. If the coal bubble bursts, it will lead to an economic crisis, compared to which the bank crisis in 2008 was a piece of cake. After all, private banks are the most committed players in the coal investment business.
As a result, the propellant is leaking out of the coal bubble just as it did before due to the bankruptcy of Peabody Energy, the largest coal company worldwide. Even in the case of only a small divestment thorn, the long-term result is always a flat tire the investors cannot drive with anymore. With every rotation, the thorn may produce additional holes and therefore, divestment will develop into a global trend in the next five years – even if we think as much about the term as we did about sustainable development when it was introduced.
This is why in this edition, all signs point to divestment, but we recommend investing in sustainability and education.
Verena Kern explains the emergence of the divestment movement and its successes and Susanne Schwarz reports on municipalities that are parting with fossil investments as the windfall of the lignite regions has long been over. Susanne Götze summarizes how a carbon tax could help to enable necessary structural adjustments and how it already does so in some countries. Divested assets can do good by supporting the expansion of renewable energies, sustainable production and green building, as financial expert Susanne Bergius writes in her investment advice. Our photo story shows that the forest and forest investments play a special role in this. If countries reduce their subsidies and investments in fossil energies and instead invest in their educational systems, much more social prosperity can be achieved than with the promotion of the economic dinosaur of fossil fuel, as Manfred Ronzheimer concludes.
In this issue of factory, we are convinced that divestment will change the world because the world has changed. We hope you will feel the same after reading this issue and we greet you with the divestment version of the old miners’ saying:
The way ahead does not look dark anymore.
Ralf Bindel and the factory team
Translated from the German by Lisa Caroline Rülcker, Tamara Reiser, Maj-Britt Kalusche Kaiko Lenhard and Anuja Phadke.
More articles to the topic of divestment, to stranded assets and to investments in renewable energies, in sustainable economy and in education there are not only online but in the factory magazine Divestment, which is ready to download. It is finely illustrated and good readable on tablets and screens and it contains all articles and pictures and even additional numbers and citations.
- The Domino Effect: the Mobility Transition as an Engine for the ‘Great Transformation’
- Cities Use the Space
- Decarbonization by 2030
- The fear of biting the hand that feeds you
- Where investing is a pleasure
- Why divestment is going to change the world
- A Robin Hood tax for climate protection
- May the Force Be with Us
- Modern Strategies
- The prerogative of interpreting the future now lies with the companies involved in climate protection”
- From Negotiating to Trading Equitably
- Can a donkey be tragic?
- Rethink rather than rebound: a sufficiency revolution must precede the efficiency revolution
- On Rebound, Prebound and Performance Gaps
- So Let Us Seize Power Then!
- With Common Property Against Political Failure
- So Let Us Seize Power Then!
- The Comforting Beauty of Failure
- “It Is Not Impossible at All.“
- Resource-light shopping
- Men Have Not Stopped Giving the Advantage to Women – So Far
- Toothpaste for Princesses and Soup for Pirates
- It is about equality
- A nice day
- Initiative instead of frustration
- The right ingredients
- Resilient for Life
- Not only, but also
- Appreciation – more please!
- Worth more than money
- Learning to value the value of goods
- Worth and Values
- The Transformative Power of Science
- Historically effective: How innovation and technology transform
- The Disappearance of Products
- Growing Older 101
- Columbus’ Egg
- It Works! In Theory at Least ...
- What If...?
- Analysing Separately – Thinking and Acting Together!
- Let’s Break Away from Determined Breaking Points
- More Gold in Waste than in Mines
- The art of separation
- Should you really DIY?
- The Aesthetics of Do-It-Yourself
- Standing on One’s Own Feet
- From the handaxe to desktop fabrication
- Using Shares to Survive the Crisis
- When Citizens participate
- Possess to Participate
- The Right Growth at the Right Time
- Gunter Pauli and Blue Economy
- When Sustainability Grows
- How we treat Growth
- Illusions about Growth