22 Sep 2015

CIFF signs Divest-Invest Pledge

Joins movement to divest from fossil fuels and invest in clean energy

In order to secure a healthy and sustainable future for children, enabling them to both survive and thrive, we support the urgent global transition to a low carbon economy.

We are proud to be part of a rapidly growing movement which recognises that a clean energy future is not just desirable but inevitable.

New figures released today show the movement to divest from fossil fuels and invest in climate solutions has grown 50-fold over the past year. These commitments include governments and investors from around the world, managing funds worth over $2.6 trillion.

CIFF’s endowment is the largest from the philanthropic sector so far to comply with the Divest Invest Pledge. At current market prices, investments in fossil fuel companies represent less than half of one per cent of the value of the endowment.

Endowment investment principles

The investment strategy for the endowment provides for investing responsibly in a diverse portfolio of financial investments with a long-term horizon. We are committed to a number of principles which guide the investment decisions. Regarding climate change, these include prohibiting investment in the following:

  • Companies that derive more than 10 per cent of revenue from extracting fossil fuels, excluding natural gas.
  • Companies that derive more than 10 per cent of revenue from extracting natural gas, unless they have adopted a business strategy and plan to cut emissions to limit climate change to 2 degrees Celsius.

If a company in which the foundation is invested falls into one of these categories, our investment managers have 12 months to divest. However, there may be occasions when the trustees approve an investment in a prohibited category in order to encourage a company to change practices such as implementing a credible low carbon strategy.

Climate change grants

Providing a climate-safe future promises multiple benefits today, such as cleaner air, energy security and better jobs, along with smart stewardship of the planet’s resources for future generation.

Through our charitable grants, we fund advocacy and technical assistance to:

  • Accelerate the transition to clean energy.
  • Phase out the use of hydro fluorocarbons.
  • Assist mega-cities measure emissions and adopt climate-smart principles in urban planning, transportation and air quality management.
  • Change the business of land management in Brazil in favour of sustainable agriculture combined with forest protection and restoration.

More details on the endowment can be found here.