A decade ago, the idea of using the financial resources of university endowments, religious institutions and philanthropic foundations as a mechanism to advance action on climate change was still in its relative infancy, mostly limited to college campuses. While divestment has been long used as a tool for activism, in the early 2010s, plenty of institutions that were ostensibly working on or supporting efforts to combat climate change were still heavily invested in the fossil fuel companies that were most responsible for driving carbon emissions. As a student of the anti-apartheid movement, Ellen Dorsey understood the power of using an institution’s financial muscle to achieve real-world outcomes. And as the head of the Wallace Global Fund, a private foundation established by entrepreneur and former U.S. vice president Henry Wallace, she was in the position to help support the movement, including accelerating adoption within the philanthropic sector. So the Wallace Global Fund became one of the major backers of the fossil fuels divestment movement, putting money into coal divestment campaigns on college campuses, youth groups and other advocacy efforts. Dorsey and the Wallace Global Fund also organized the “Divest-Invest Philanthropy” initiative to bring other foundations on board, both in terms of existing investments in polluting industries and investing in cleaner ones. “Organizing within philanthropy was important because, of course, it is very difficult for movement organizations, who are the recipients of funding, to call on their funders to divest. It was very clear we needed to do a peer-to-peer campaign to…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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