The fossil fuel divestment is a change in direction for Rockefeller – Photo sourced from Shutterstock.
According to reports the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF) will play an integral role in the forming of a coalition to divest over $50bn (£31bn) of assets in fossil fuels. With the Rockefeller fortune largely made from oil, it is a significant statement – made ahead of the UN summit on climate change opening today, Tuesday 23 September.
The fund was formed in 1940 by the sons of John D Rockefeller. A philanthropic organisation, it had investment assets amounting to around $860m at the end of July this year.
Made up of a number renowned philanthropists, the coalition the fund will be a key part of is understood to be formed of over 830 individual institutional investors.
The director of RBF, Stephen Heintz, said in a statement:
“We are quite convinced that if he [John D Rockefeller] were alive today, as an astute businessman looking out to the future, he would be moving out of fossil fuels and investing in clean, renewable energy,”
The climate change summit at the UN headquarters in New York opened earlier this morning with US President Barack Obama, British PM David Cameron and more than 120 heads of state and senior government officials in attendance.
The summit is being hosted by Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon who is hoping the world’s leaders can make significant inroads to agree a universal climate agreement.
Ban Ki-moon hopes the agreement will be signed by all nations by the end of next year.