Divestment at the National Trust

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

I see that the National Trust has announced that it will be divesting away from fossil fuels within the next three years.  Peter Vermeulen, the charity’s Chief Financial Officer, is reported as saying:

The Trust has just over a billion pounds invested on the stock market, the returns from which are an important source of income.  Over the years we’ve gradually evolved our investment strategy to reduce our carbon footprint.  Many organisations have been working hard to persuade fossil fuel companies to invest in green alternatives.  The charity will be establishing a long-term goal to continue the reduction of the carbon footprint of the investment portfolio.  They also aim to increase engagement with companies invested in, to encourage them to make material improvements in their environmental performance [but] these companies have made insufficient progress and now we have decided to divest from fossil fuel companies.”

This looks very much as if it might be virtue signalling.  However, assuming it is not, I am sure that all NT senior staff (as an act of solidarity) will be having nothing more to do with fossil fuels in their professional and personal lives: no travel in non-electric vehicles; no use of new plastics; no eating non-organic food; no use of electricity made from gas; no use of gas for heating; no use of metals smelted with coal or coke; etc. etc.  It will be a challenge, but these folk are quite smart so, ...

Meanwhile, I hear that Norway's sovereign wealth fund was given permission by the Norwegian government to ditch investments in fossil fuels.  This is beyond irony, given where all the money came from in the first place.

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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