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More investors commit to clean energy: report

Cape Town

INSTITUTIONAL investors holding assets worth US$11 trillion have now pledged to divest from fossil fuel assets, a significant jump in the number committing to clean energy, a report said on Monday.

A growing number of investment and wealth funds have been looking to pull away from fossil fuels and shift to renewables, especially since the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.

The US$11 trillion figure was released in a report as part of the "Financing the Future" summit in Cape Town for advocates for investment in clean energy transition.

More than 1,000 institutional investors are committed to dropping fossil fuel assets, including wealth funds, banks, insurance firms as well as scores of city councils, universities, and religious organisations.

By comparison, institutional investors with holdings of US$52 billion in assets had made the same commitment in 2014.

"We are seeing a clear shift away from fossil fuel investments in every sector," said Clara Vondrich, director of Divest-Invest, one of the report authors.

"Coal, oil, and gas assets are being recognised as toxic - not just morally due to the climate crisis but also increasingly financially." The US$11 trillion figure represents around 16 per cent of the total global equity markets in 2018, the organisers said, citing World Bank figures.

Activists for fossil fuel divestment say one way to reduce carbon emissions is by pressing investors to get rid of shares, bonds or other assets in those companies. AFP