UK’s National Trust moves away from fossil fuels

Oil_pumpsThe UK’s National Trust – a heritage and conservation organisation – is to divest from fossil fuel investments and instead focus on more “environmentally beneficial” assets.

Currently, the Trust has around £40 million (€44.5 million) of its £1 billion of assets invested in firms that derive less than 10% of their turnover from production of oil and other energy-related renewables.

Despite “small inroads” into renewable energy made by firms such as BP and Shell, it is not enough, the organisation has said.

The National Trust’s move follows the Norwegian sovereign fund’s recent plans to dump fossil fuel investment.

Norway’s $1 trillion (€881.8 billion) sovereign wealth fund – the largest in the world – was given the go-ahead to drop investments in coal and oil companies in what would be the largest divestment from fossil fuels to date.

The country’s parliament voted in favour of the centre-right government’s plan for the fund to cease investing in companies that mine more than 20 million tonnes of coal per year, or generate 10 gigawatts of power from coal.

To mark London Climate Action Week, the UK’s Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) and the Royal Society of Arts have also sold their shares held in fossil fuel companies – and have urged local authorities, universities and religious institutions to follow suit.

London-based local authorities, universities, and medical colleges hold £36 billion of investments through endowments and pension funds, according to RCEM. 

At a global level, over 1,000 organisations with £7 trillion of assets under management have committed to divesting away from fossil fuels in favour of investing in climate solutions.

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