Articles on Ethical investment

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A year after Pope Francis called for action to protect the environment, Australian Catholic groups have announced plans to divest from fossil fuels. AAP Image/Newzulu/Fabrizio Belluschi

Catholic church starts small but is clearly thinking big on fossil fuel divestment

A year ago Pope Francis called for better protection for the environment. Now Catholic institutions look poised for widespread divestment from fossil fuels.
Isn’t always easy to practice what you preach – even inadvertently. Joe Giddens/PA Wire/PA

Why ethical investing is hard for big charities

Health charities should probably avoid investing in booze – but sometimes it can be hard to tell. So how do charities avoid the pitfalls?
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been urged to join the fossil fuel divestment movement. Adbar/Wikimedia Commons

Like everyone else, research charities have a duty to divest

The Guardian's divestment campaign is targeting charitable research trusts. John Quiggin says they have a moral duty to divest fossil fuels, regardless of the temptation to research technological climate fixes.
The University of California is the world’s leading university on dealing with climate risk to its investments - most others have a long way to go. LAgirl5252/Wikimedia Commons

Actions, not words, should earn divestment advocates’ praise

Do universities deserve praise for pledging to drop fossil-fuel investments, or for actually doing it? Former Liberal leader John Hewson, who leads the Asset Owners Disclosure Project, says only the latter.
The world urgently needs renewable alternative sources of energy. Rolex Dela Pena/EPA/AAP

ANU might be distorting markets, but markets are distorting society

John D. Rockefeller turned in his grave when the news drifted down to Hades that the Rockefeller Brothers Fund is divesting from fossil fuel companies … even from John D’s once very own Exxon. The shrill…
Universities in the US have led the divestment charge - the ANU is leading the Australian movement. Light Brigading/Flickr

Divestment backlash shows companies need to improve sustainability reporting

Tony Abbott’s criticisms of the ANU’s divestment decision will come back to bite him. The tide of change is such that Vice-Chancellor Ian Young and the ANU Council will be seen as leaders. Others will…
ANU’s divestment decision is only worth A$16 million - but the outcry suggests it will be more influential than the numbers suggest. AAP Image

Outrage at ANU divestment shows the power of its idea

Is the Australian National University’s decision to sell its shares in some resource companies merely tokenistic? Far from it. The outrage from the affected companies shows how much influence universities…
Surviving or thriving? britta heise

Explainer: how big tobacco turns profits

In 2013 Imperial Tobacco, one of four major transnational tobacco companies, posted its first fall in profits in 17 years. One could be forgiven for thinking from the proposed introduction of new restrictions…
Bill McKibben presents “Do the Maths” at the Seymour Centre at the University of Sydney on the 4th June 2013. Matthew Rimmer

Do the Maths: Bill McKibben argues for divestment

In June 2013, author, activist and academic Bill McKibben is visiting Australia and New Zealand as part of the Do the Maths tour. He has been discussing the [carbon bubble]((…
Are there viable investment alternatives to funding coal and energy projects in the Great Barrier Reef region? AAP

Can banks make a profit by investing in the Great Barrier Reef?

Earlier this month, Australia’s Big Four banks copped a serve over their support of the coal and gas extraction industries, focusing attention on the ways large banks’ investment decisions can put the…
A proportion of investors want to avoid controversial asset classes - but would it pay off?

Can super investors really bank on ethical investment?

One quarter of Australians would be willing to switch superannuation funds to avoid investing in coal or coal seam gas, according to a recent survey. Not only does this research raise important questions…
Queue for iPad 2 in Sydney: green activists targeting companies and governments should realise that those ‘enemies’ reflect the values of the money and consumption-hungry populace. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Why the global environmental movement is failing

The recent news out of the RIO+20 summit is dire. No collective pre-agreement, no institutional change, no investment. The difference between RIO+20 and Kyoto was that at least Kyoto created an agreement…

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