Rockefellers join $50B divestment from fossil fuels

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund announced Monday that it would divest its holdings from fossil fuels, joining a coalition of $50 billion worth of investments in a pledge.

The announcement from the Rockefellers, who made the riches on oil years ago, was timed a day before the United Nations gathered world leaders to make commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

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Stephen Heintz, president of the fund and an heir of oil magnate John D. Rockefeller, said he believed the Standard Oil. Co co-founder would agree with the decision.

“We are quite convinced that if he 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,” Heintz said in a statement.

The $50 billion in divestments will be announced Monday by the Global Divest-Invest coalition, a group of individual investors and philanthropic groups making the pledge, Reuters reported.

Also on Monday, consultancy Arabella Advisors reported that the movement to divest from fossil fuels has so far included 181 institutions and local governments and 656 individuals, representing more than $50 billion in investments.

Among the entities making commitments thus far are campuses, churches, cities, states, hospitals and pension funds. Stanford University was one of the recent high-profile organizations to announce a divestment effort.