Why the Rockefeller Family Fund Is Divesting From Fossil Fuels
For many years, the name Rockefeller was practically synonymous with oil – John D Rockefeller was a founder of Standard Oil (a predecessor of ExxonMobil), and fossil fuels helped create much of the family’s legendary wealth. So it’s significant that the Rockefeller Family Fund (RFF) has announced that it is withdrawing all its fossil fuel investments.
As this Guardian article reports, the RFF acknowledges that their oil investments have been very profitable in the past – but “history moves on.” They understand that fossil fuels are no longer a sensible investment, and that clean energy is the future. They also know that seriously addressing climate change means leaving remaining oil and coal reserves in the ground. In a statement, the RFF said, “There is no sane rationale for companies to continue to explore for new sources of hydrocarbons.”
The RFF (a partner in our MomentUs initiative) joins the Rockefeller Brothers Fund in choosing to divest. They also join the growing number of religious groups, universities, and healthcare organizations that have decided it is against their principles to continue funding carbon pollution. Who will be next?
By Rupert Neate, reporter for the Guardian
Started by John D Rockefeller – who made his fortune from oil – the fund singled out ExxonMobil, calling the world’s largest oil company ‘morally reprehensible’
A charitable fund of the Rockefeller family – who are sitting on a multibillion-dollar oil fortune – has said it will withdraw all its investments from fossil fuel companies.
The Rockefeller Family Fund, a charity set up in 1967 by descendants of John D Rockefeller, said on Wednesday that it would divest from all fossil fuel holdings “as quickly as possible”.
The fund, which was founded by Martha, John, Laurance, Nelson and David Rockefeller, singled out ExxonMobil for particular attention describing the world’s largest oil company as “morally reprehensible”.
John D Rockefeller, who was the richest person in US history when he died in 1937, made his fortune from Standard Oil a precursor of ExxonMobil.
“There is no sane rationale for companies to continue to explore for new sources of hydrocarbons,” the RFF, which has relatively small total holdings of $130m (£92m), said in a statement. “We must keep most of the already discovered reserves in the ground if there is any hope for human and natural ecosystems to survive and thrive in the decades ahead.
Image credit: Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters