This is a summary of the report to come. The full report, published in partnership with the Transnational Institute, will be coming soon in October.
In recent years, some of the most successful campaigns on climate change have focussed on divestment from fossil fuels, the burning of which is predominantly responsible for causing climate change. Putting pressure on banks, pension funds and university endowments can stop – or significantly delay – big fossil fuel projects. This pressure can deliver victories that are important for the momentum and morale of campaigns to save the planet. It also keeps the focus on fossil fuel companies, chipping away at their “social license to operate” in a world of accelerating climate change.
Divestment campaigns are, of course, just one tactic. And when campaigners win, the larger financial system chugs ahead, often as though nothing has changed. After engaging in divestment campaigns, many of us are asking: what else can we do to augment the power of this tactic?
The following suggestions are drawn from Financial System Change, Not Climate Change, a forthcoming report from the Institute for Policy Studies and the Transnational Institute. The report focusses on the intersections between the financial system and climate change, looking at how banks and investors can be weaned off their addiction to fossil fuels. It surveys a wide range of possibilities, from modest reforms to wide ranging structural changes, that can help to reshape the finance system in response to climate change.