Global Equity Index Excludes Fossil Fuel Extraction Companies
29 April 2014: The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), BlackRock and global index provider FTSE partnered to launch the first global equity index series that will exclude companies linked to the exploration, ownership or extraction of fossil fuel reserves.
This set of benchmark indices, which offers expanded opportunities for fossil fuel-free investing, is the first to totally exclude fossil fuel-linked stocks, and includes over 2,000 securities across 25 countries. To facilitate this process, NRDC and FTSE developed a comprehensive and transparent screening methodology to exclude companies with reserves or revenue from fossil fuel exploration and extraction of fossil fuels. The objective is to demonstrate that market demand for this strategy will stimulate competition with the creation of comparable products and lead to additional opportunities for individual investors to access similar investment strategies.
Bill McKibben, 350.org, said this initiative shows “great leadership in transforming the divestment debate” by standing up to the “the oil barons.” Noting the timeliness of the launch "in the lead up to the 2015 climate change agreement,” Christiana Figueres, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, underlined that the divestment index will provide those institutions reconsidering investments that threaten the climate and economies with a potentially powerful tool to align investments with missions. [NRDC Press Release]