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Oil-Rich Rockefellers Are Dumping Fossil-Fuel Stocks

Philanthropic fund makes announcement ahead of climate conference
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2014 10:03 AM CDT
Oil-Rich Rockefellers Are Dumping Fossil-Fuel Stocks
The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is framed by American flags as it's secured in place on Nov. 8, 2013, in New York.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

(Newser) – The Rockefellers' riches may have been fueled by oil, but they say it's time for a new source of energy. Ahead of this week's UN climate change summit, the family's philanthropic Rockefeller Brothers Fund will announce today that it's divesting from fossil fuels, the New York Times reports. Says fund president Stephen Heintz of John D. Rockefeller, as per Business Insider: "We are quite convinced that if he were alive today, as an astute businessman looking out to the future, he would be moving out of fossil fuels and investing in clean, renewable energy."

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Indeed, not only are fund leaders taking a stand against climate change—they also question the future financial success of companies with large quantities of fossil-fuel reserves. "We see this as having both a moral and economic dimension," says fund trustee Steven Rockefeller. The Rockefellers join about 180 other organizations that are committed to divesting some $50 billion in assets from fossil-fuel companies; the organizations range from local governments to religious groups, the Times reports. The institutions are taking a stand despite their knowledge that the movement probably won't have much effect on the wealthy firms' actual finances. Instead, says a college investment planner, "divestment seeks to work indirectly on these companies by changing the conversation about the climate." (Read more Rockefeller family stories.)

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