Lego’s decision to pull out of a multi million dollar deal with Shell is the leading edge of a growing trend away from investing in fossil fuels.
The Australian National University this month announced it was dumping $16 million worth of mining stocks from its portfolio and implementing a Socially Responsible Investment Policy.
And then the $8 billion Local Government Super Fund announced it is dumping investments impacting climate change.
Sustainable business expert Professor John Cole at the University of Southern Queensland says the campaign to encourage financial divestment in the fossil fuels industry is both a legitimate and unsurprising strategy for change.
He says community stakeholders are frustrated at the relative inaction of government and business in mitigating climate change and other unsustainable forms of development.
“For the past twenty years the major oil, gas and coal companies have defended their social licence to operate in a mix of messages ranging from jobs in developing countries and in parts of regional Australia to providing affordable energy to the world’s poor,” he says.
“The rise of the divestment movement among a growing number of global pension and investment funds reflects a fuller more transparent accounting of the risks involved in unsustainable business and economic strategies than has hitherto been the case.”