The British newspaper The Guardian, has started a petition calling on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to divest more than a billion dollars from fossil fuel investments in an effort to mitigate climate change.
The fact that our climate is rapidly changing and that we’re to blame for it shouldn’t come as a surprise. The science has been very clear for many years now, though words have mainly failed to turn into action. However The Guardian is now running a series of articles detailing the science, reasoning and potential action that governments, institutions and individuals can take to avoid catastrophic consequences.
And as part of that campaign the British newspaper is calling on the Gates Foundation to take action. The foundation, headed by Bill and Melinda Gates, is well known for its philanthropic, results-oriented, science-based approach to helping the world. Last year the foundation donated nearly $4 billion to health and sustainable development. As such it’s truly surprising that, according to The Guardian, around one billion dollars of the organization’s endowments are currently invested in fossil fuel stocks and assets.
The Guardian, alongside the public, is asking the Foundation to divest that money, and perhaps reinvest it in something more productive or useful, such as green energy. Financial divesting, unlike muddled politics, has actually proven itself a powerful tool to enact change in the fight against a warming climate. Numerous, prestigious institutions, such as the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Stanford and the Australian Nation Universities, have been moving their money out of the fossil fuel industry. Even the UN recently came out in favor of the practice as a means of promoting positive change.
Whether the Foundation will respond favorable and actually divest its money from fossil fuels remains to be seen but if it doesn’t it might be suffering from a severe case of cognitive dissonance.
The Gates Foundation has not responded to our requests for comment, but the article will be updated if it does.
Source: The Guardian