Challenge

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Divesting from Fossil Fuels

Divesting from fossil fuels makes sense environmentally and financially. The movement to divest from fossil fuels seeks to protect the planet from severe climate change, and can help protect ecosystems by transitioning to clean energy economies,
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Nature and Context

Divesting is the opposite of investing. In this case, it means selling shares or bonds that had been bought in companies that cultivate, process, or sell fossil fuel. Individuals can choose to divest from fossil fuel companies on their own, but the divestment movement focuses on investment funds like pensions or big institutions like universities and churches. For countries to achieve the Paris climate agreement goal of keeping temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the vast majority of untapped fossil fuels left in the world have to remain in the ground. This can only happen if fossil fuel companies are forced to either close up shop or fundamentally change their business models. 

Symptoms and Causes

Fossil fuel companies are overwhelmingly responsible for climate change. The fossil fuels they search for, extract, process, and sell are burned and release heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which causes climate change. It’s a direct cause and effect. These same companies have plans to cultivate fossil fuels for the next several decades. 

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Ideas Description

Ending subsidies for fossil fuel companies, imposing carbon taxes, and banning new oil, coal, and natural gas projects are the most effective ways to stop future greenhouse gas emissions.

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