Divestment of Fossil Fuel Assets
Forthcoming, Harro van Asselt & Michael Mehling (eds.), Research Handbook on Climate Finance and Investment Law. Edward Elgar 2021.
19 Pages Posted: 7 Jan 2021
Date Written: January 3, 2020
Fossil fuel divestment refers to activist-led campaigns aiming to convince large institutional investors to sell their holdings in companies that operate in carbon-intensive sectors and industries. Part of a larger anti-fossil fuel movement, the growing momentum of the fossil fuel divestment movement has put forward a real-world experiment of the interplay between global capital markets and transnational activist discourse in the context of climate policy and climate change mitigation. This chapter analyses divestment of fossil fuel assets as an emerging trend in climate finance and climate governance from two main perspectives. First, the chapter discusses the history, the political and financial logic and the impact of fossil fuel divestment. Second, the chapter focuses on the legal and governance implications of fossil fuel divestment. The chapter concludes by identifying further research opportunities.
Keywords: divestment, climate, fiduciary duty, fossil fuel, asset management
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