"If it's wrong to wreck the climate then it's wrong to profit from that wreckage." -- Bill McKibben
...The global movement for fossil fuel divestment is asking institutions to move their money out of oil, coal and gas companies for both moral and financial reasons. These institutions include universities, religious institutions, pension funds, local authorities and charitable foundations.
...[F]ossil fuel reserves are more than three times higher than we can afford to burn in order to stay below the generally agreed threshold for dangerous climate change. Fossil fuel companies are currently banking on extracting these reserves and selling them – and are actively prospecting for more. By supporting these companies, investors not only continue to fund unsustainable business models that are bound to make climate change worse, but they also risk their financial assets becoming worthless if international agreements on climate change are met.
There are three really simple numbers which explain this (and if you have even more appetite for the subject, read the excellent July 2012 Rolling Stone piece by the author and campaigner Bill McKibben, which – building on the work of the Carbon Tracker Initiative – first spelled them out).
You do not need much of a grasp of math to work out the implications. There are trillions of dollars worth of fossil fuels currently underground which, for our safety, simply cannot be extracted and burned. All else is up for debate: that much is not.