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The Impact of Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement on the Global Financial Industry

Representation of Fossil Fuel through solar panels and wind turbines

A worldwide movement against fossil fuel investments

The "fossil fuel divestment" movement is one of the fasted growing campaigns fighting against climate change. Through this global movement, activists pressure investors to sell off assets from fossil fuel related companies and, in some cases, to invest those assets into carbon-neutral and renewable energy companies.

To date, over 1000 institutions worth almost $ 8 trillion dollars have committed to diverting from fossil fuel, coal, and gas companies. However, researchers know very little about how divestment campaigns operate and how they frame climate change. More importantly, how do divestment campaigns pressure the global financial industry into shifting investments away from fossil fuel industries towards renewable energy organizations?

What’s this research project about?

Professor HimickProfessor Darlene Himick from the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa has launched a research program to examine how investors respond to these divestment campaigns. Her project has just received a new Insight grant by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

Who will gain from this research?

Professor Himick’s team will build a comprehensive database and make it available to researchers and the community. Her project can guide everyone involved in this tipping point for the global financial industry.

“Our insights will support members of divestment movements in developing more effective strategies that better address the interests of targeted investors. Similarly, if we can better understand the role that divestment movements play, this knowledge can guide asset holders and investors in their investment decisions,” concludes Professor Himick.

The Telfer School of Management is committed to developing cutting-edge research in a variety of topics in management. As our faculty continues fostering research excellence, the Telfer School community and partners also benefit from valuable insights with impact. Over the next weeks, we will give an overview of the five research projects that received the prestigious SSHRC Insight grant in 2019.

Learn more about the SSHRC Insight Program.