A very thorough study from the University of Oxford has found that a campaign to persuade investors to take their money out of the fossil fuel sector is growing faster than any previous divestment campaign and could cause significant damage to coal, oil and gas companies.
As the Guardian reports the current fossil fuel divestment campaign, which has attracted 41 institutions since 2010, is compared with the campaigns against tobacco, apartheid in South Africa, armaments, gambling and pornography.
"It concludes that the direct financial impact of such campaigns on share prices or the ability to raise funds is small but the reputational damage can still have major financial consequences.
"Stigmatisation poses a far-reaching threat to fossil fuel companies – any direct impacts of divestment pale in comparison," said Ben Caldecott, a research fellow at the University of Oxford's Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, and an author of the report. "In every case we reviewed, divestment campaigns were successful in lobbying for restrictive legislation."
The report is part of a new research programme on stranded assets backed by Aviva Investors, HSBC, Standard & Poor's and others. It found: "The fossil fuel campaign has achieved a lot in the relatively short time since its inception."
Some major investors, such as the $74bn Scandinavian asset manager Storebrand, have already pulled their funds from coal stocks. But the researchers found that even if the maximum possible capital was divested by university endowments and public pension funds, the total was relatively small compared to the market capitalisation of traded fossil fuel companies and the size of state-owned enterprises"
For the rest of the article , here is the Guardian.