|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on May 2, 2014 at 5:45 AM|
Sydney Morning Herald, 2nd May 2014
By Angela Macdonald-Smith
The growing trend away from fossil fuel investments has taken a local twist, with hundreds of customers of Australia's four major banks said to be set to close their accounts in protest against funding of coal and gas projects in an action organisers say threaten up to $120 million in investment.
The initiative, organised by activist investment group Market Forces and climate campaigner 350.org, represents an extension of the fossil fuel divestment movement that has taken hold in northern Europe and threatens to remove major investors from the share registers of BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and other major Australian-listed companies.
While the origins of the movement are rooted with ethical investors, it is increasingly taking hold among mainstream investors, with Norway's huge pension fund in the process of considering a fossil fuel divestment strategy.
In a further sign of the trend, London Stock Exchange-owned FTSE Group and the world's largest fund manager BlackRock earlier this week announced plans to launch an index that tracks the performance of stocks specifically excluding those linked with fossil fuels.