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Number of institutional investors divesting from fossil fuels continues to rise — Arabella Advisors

Global institutional investors with assets totaling $6.24 trillion — including insurance companies, sovereign wealth funds and pension funds — have committed to divesting from fossil fuels, according to a new report from impact investing firm Arabella Advisors.

That figure, which represents the total assets of the institutional investors and not the amount divested, is up from $52 billion four years ago and $5 trillion in 2016, the last time Arabella Advisors analyzed public statements by investors. In 2018, 985 institutions have reported fossil-fuel divestment plans, up from 688 institutions in 2016, and those institutions in 2018 span 37 countries.

Among institutional investors divesting from fossil fuels, 29% are faith-based organizations, 17% are philanthropic foundations, and 15% each are educational institutions, government institutions and pension funds. Other institutions represented are non-governmental organizations (4%), for-profit asset managers (3%), and cultural and health-care institutions (1% each).

Among pension funds, an additional 61 funds have committed to divestment since 2016, bringing the total to 144 in 2018. The largest pension fund to commit to divestment within the past five years was the $195 billion New York City Retirement Systems in January.

The report is available on Arabella Advisors' website.