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Leonardo Dicaprio among investors pulling GBP 1.7 trillion out of fossil fuels

2015-09-23

Investors ranging from WWF ambassador Leonardo DiCaprio to pension funds and churches have pledged to pull almost GBP1.7 trillion out of fossil fuels, it has been announced.

More than 400 institutions and 2,000 individuals have pledged to divest from fossil fuels and invest in renewable energy and clean technology, a report from Arabella Advisors for the Divest-Invest campaign found.

The move away from fossil fuels is being supported by governments, pension funds, philanthropic institutions, faith organisations, cities and universities.

Backing for the movement has grown 50-fold in a year and now represents assets of more than 2.6 trillion US dollars (GBP1.69 trillion), the analysis shows.

The announcement has been made as part of Climate Week NYC, which brings together governments, investors, businesses and experts, and comes ahead of crucial UN talks in Paris to secure a new global deal on tackling climate change in December.

Actor and environmentalist DiCaprio, who announced his commitment to divest today, said: "Climate change is severely impacting the health of our planet and all of its inhabitants, and we must transition to a clean energy economy that does not rely on fossil fuels, the main driver of this global problem.

"After looking into the growing movement to divest from fossil fuels and invest in climate solutions, I was convinced to make the pledge on behalf of myself and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.

"Now is the time to divest and invest to let our world leaders know that we, as individuals and institutions, are taking action to address climate change, and we expect them to do their part this December in Paris at the UN climate talks."

May Boeve, executive director of campaign group 350.org, said the numbers showed the divestment movement was "catching fire", and sending a clear message to leaders ahead of Paris that governments should divest from fossil fuel companies too.

Some investors have taken their money out of all fossil fuel companies, while others are starting with the most polluting fuels such as coal and Canadian tar sands.