Why the Fund Decided to Divest from Fossil Fuels

In an opinion piece featured in The Guardian on March 30, 2015, Valerie Rockefeller, chair of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and a great-great granddaughter of John D. Rockefeller, explains the Fund’s rationale for joining the global shift toward divesting from fossil fuels and investing in clean energy businesses. She points to new developments in alternative energy sources, which has led the Fund to determine that as continuing down the fossil fuel path is both immoral and financially imprudent.

In a separate interview with The Guardian, Ms. Rockefeller and RBF president Stephen Heintz discuss the roots of the decision. They recall initial conversations about how it was counterproductive for the Fund to support organizations working to mitigate the effects of climate change while maintaining assets invested in destructive coal and tar sands. They also touch on the Rockefeller family’s longtime interest in conservation and ecotourism and how that has shaped the Fund’s mission.

The process of analyzing and screening investments,and the cautious early stages of impact investing are highlighted in Gotham Magazine’s article about the RBF’s investment decisions. RBF trustee Justin Rockefeller and Heintz also spoke to Barron's about the Fund's initial investments and its timeline for divesting.

Latest Media Coverage

The Guardian: "The fossil fuel path is immoral and financially imprudent" (March 30, 2015)

The Guardian: "Rockefeller Brothers Fund: it is our moral duty to divest from fossil fuels" (March 27, 2015)

Gotham Magazine: "Valerie Rockefeller Wayne's Big Eco-Conscious Decision" (April 1, 2015)

Barron's: "The Rockefellers Offload Oil and Take On Clean Energy" (April 10, 2015)

Business News Network: [VIDEO] Commodities' Andrew Bell interviews Valerie Rockefeller (April 22, 2015)

Chronicle of Philanthropy: "Impact Investing Can Help Foundations Avoid Obsolescence" (March 18, 2015)

Sustain Magazine: "Stephen Heintz on ‘Investor Pressure'" (February 28, 2015)

Grist.org: "Protests, oil prices add fuel to the divestment fire" (February 14, 2015)

Rolling Stone: "The Logic of Divestment: Why We Have to Kiss Off Big Carbon Now" (January 14, 2015)

Related

Fund Announces Plans to Divest from Fossil Fuels (September 22, 2014)