"Although just 0.3% of the Ford Foundation's endowment is directly invested in fossil fuel companies, we take our duties as fiduciaries seriously and we're mindful that if we put restrictions on our investments, we may forsake some amount of return for future generations," President Darren Walker said in a news release. "At the same time, however, the Ford Foundation's trustees, leadership team, and I recognize a risk graver than forsaken value: There is no perpetuity without a planet."
The foundation noted that it has not directly invested in any companies that explore for or develop reserves of fossil fuels since 2013, but does have "legacy investments as a limited partner in a number of private equity funds with holdings in the fossil fuel industry." The foundation has not made any new commitments to these limited partnerships since 2017, and has "no intention to do so going forward. These legacy investments are in runoff mode and will end as these partnerships are liquidated," the foundation said in the news release.
Mr. Walker said the world is facing profound challenges on an existential scale. "Fires and floods are worsening — and on top of it all, the distortion of our market system, and the inequality it's produced, have overloaded the burden of these disasters onto the backs of the poor, the marginalized, and the vulnerable," he said in the news release. "I believe that the intersecting crises of climate change and inequality threaten to make an outmoded vision of perpetuity, at best, obsolete — and, at worst, destructive."
Over the past five years, Ford has deployed more than $3.7 billion to organizations around the world fighting for equality and justice, and more than $311 million of those funds went to grantees on the front lines of the fight for environmental justice, according to the news release.