Birmingham Friends of the Earth are supporting a campaign to get the West Midlands Pension Fund to divest from fossil fuels. This got us thinking about how individuals divest.
There are a number of organisations and websites with information about how to divest including:
– Go Fossil Free.org
– Move Your Money.org
– Share Action
There are also shopping sites which allow you to check the origins of the products you’re buying include the Ethical Superstore and Natural Collection.
The first thing I noticed when researching personal divestment, is that each person’s divestment to do list would be different. Different divestment priorities include then environment, workers’ rights, arms manufacturing etc. Whether you want to invest in or divest from certain companies or industries may depend on your stance on nuclear power, animal agriculture, green gas, etc…
Options for individuals to divest include:
- Switching banks
- Switching pension schemes, if this is an option
- Switching insurance provider
- Switching energy provider and/or tariff
- Installing solar panels or turbines, if this is an option
- Swapping to greener modes of transport if practicable, or moving away from petrol and diesel powered vehicles
- Recycling and reusing plastics and other materials to reduce waste and reduce the need for new plastic to be manufactured
- Eating as seasonably, locally and organically as practicable and opting for Fairtrade products where available
- When buying non-food items, opting for products that are either Fairtrade, second hand, reusable, recycled and recyclable, organic, locally made, not fossil-fuel based and not animal-based, when possible
- Reducing the amount of meat you eat and moving towards a more plant-based diet.
Previous well known divestment campaigns targeted the Apartheid in South Africa and the tobacco industry, so it can work!