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Rockefellers Pledge To Divest Oil, Coal Interests

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Westchester’s iconic Rockefeller Family—whose fortune was largely born from the oil industry—announced this week their philanthropic foundation, The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, will begin divesting assets linked to fossil fuels.

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund’s (RBF) divestment statement spoke of a “deep commitment to combating climate change” and names coal and tar sands as their immediate targets, hoping to “eliminate the Fund’s exposure to these energy sources as quickly as possible.”

Looking forward, they pledged to examine the entire scope of their fossil fuel investments as well as explore investments in sustainable, clean energy development. The fund also acknowledged the financial challenges associated with divesting from the profitable traditional energy market, but pledged to move forward as carefully as possible.

“Our divestment from fossil fuels, which is now underway, will be accomplished through a careful process of evaluating our exposure and a phased approach that proceeds as quickly as is prudent,” the statement read.

The RBF statement came both on the heels of the People’s Climate March this past Sunday in Manhattan, which boasted an army of around 400,000 protesters (the largest march of its kind ever) calling for action on climate change, and before Tuesday’s United Nations summit on global warming.

Gaining traction over recent years, the divestment movement involves 180 institutions and additional funds and investors that promise to take significant steps away from oil. In total, these groups say they will divest more than $50 million from portfolios, reported the New York Times.

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