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Fossil Fuels Divestment: A Strategy for Sustainability?


Richardson, BJ, Fossil Fuels Divestment: A Strategy for Sustainability?, Sustainable Trade, Investment and Finance: Toward Responsible and Coherent Regulatory Frameworks, Edward Elgar Pub, C Gammage and T Novitz (ed), United Kingdom, pp. 280-299. ISBN 978 1 78897 103 4 (2019) [Research Book Chapter]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 The Author

DOI: doi:10.4337/9781788971041


This chapter examines the potential influence of the global fossil fuel divestment movement in contributing to sustainability and how legal governance can improve the divestment movement. It aspires not only to spur political action on climate change through tougher laws, but also to harness the market as a surrogate regulator to weaken offending companies financially. Under the auspices of transnational networks such as’s Fossil Free, the divestment campaign pressures investors to shun the biggest carbon emitters – mainly oil and coal companies – in the hope that they will change their ways or go out of business. ‘Divestment’ means withdrawing financial ties, such as selling a company’s stocks or bonds, and refusing bank loans. The investors targeted by the movement, which took off globally in 2014, include pension funds, university endowments, banks, insurers and sovereign wealth funds. Thereby, fossil fuel divestment contributes to the broader agenda of sustainable development by helping to accelerate the shift to a low carbon economy.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:finance; climate change; divestment; activism
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Political science
Research Field:Environmental politics
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Government and politics
Objective Field:Government and politics not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Richardson, BJ (Professor Benjamin Richardson)
ID Code:131691
Year Published:2019
Deposited By:Office of the Faculty of Law
Deposited On:2019-03-30
Last Modified:2020-08-17

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