Actor DiCaprio joins growing movement to divest from fossil fuels

23 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Leonardo DiCaprio says he’s shedding fossil fuel investments.

NEW YORK (AP) — Leonardo DiCaprio is joining a campaign to use investment decisions to fight global warming: He’s planning to shed his own investments in fossil fuels, an activist group said Tuesday. The star of “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “Blood Diamond” joined members of the Divest-Invest Coalition as it announced his plans and highlighted growth in such pledges during the past year. Advocates say their effort to put pocketbook and social pressure on traditional energy producers is gaining momentum; industry groups say the campaign is misguided and its impact negligible. Now, foundations, pension funds, insurers, state and local governments and others worth a total of $2.6 trillion have pledged to reduce or eliminate their fossil fuel investments, the coalition said in a report released Tuesday.

The total is 50 times larger than it was last year, when activists set a goal of tripling it before the United Nations climate negotiations planned in Paris in November and December. “Clearly, our movement is growing faster than expected,” said May Boeve, the executive director of 350.org, an anti-global-warming group. Campaign organizers estimate fossil fuel holdings are 3 to 8 percent of institutions’ portfolios, but they don’t have an exact total of what’s being dropped. Power plant owner NRG’s CEO mentioned the campus campaigns in a New York Times interview when NRG announced plans last fall to cut its carbon emissions. When much of the world relies on fossil fuels for energy, activists are “peddling a false choice between improving our environment and growing our economy and creating well-paying jobs,” and it’s wiser to focus on technology to curb emissions, American Petroleum Institute spokesman Eric Wohlschlegel said.

The Independent Petroleum Association of America, which represents thousands of oil and gas producers, says divestment is costly for institutions while making little difference to the targeted companies.

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