The UN organisation in charge of climate change negotiations has announced that it will back the fast-growing fossil fuel divestment campaign because it shares the same ambition to reach a deal to tackle global warming at the UN summit in Paris in December.
Nick Nuttall, the spokesman for the UN framework convention on climate change (UNFCCC) told the Guardian that it was lending its “moral authority” to the divestment campaign because it “sends a signal to companies, especially coal companies, that the age of ‘burn what you like, when you like’ cannot continue.”
The World Coal Association criticised the UNFCCC’s decision, saying it threatened investment in cleaner coal technologies. The economies of many countries that will attend the upcoming summit rely heavily on coal, oil and gas, reports the Guardian.
Nuttall told the Guardian that the argument in favour of divestment is becoming overwhelming: “Everything we do is based on science and the science is pretty clear that we need a world with a lot less fossil fuels.” He added that the campaign’s aims and ambitions fit those of the UNFCCC, which is “to get a good deal in Paris.”
He insisted that the aim of the divestment campaign is to show investors that it is possible to withdraw from fossil fuels without undermining investments. “It’s a different world now,” he told the Guardian. “You can save the world and get a good return on your investment.”
More than 180 organisations around the world have already divested their funds from fossil fuels, including religious groups, city authorities and universities.