Actor DiCaprio joins growing movement to divest from fossil fuels

Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:55pm EDT
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By Megan Rowling

BARCELONA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio on Tuesday joined more than 400 institutions and 2,000 individuals who have promised to divest from fossil fuels, as new research showed they hold total assets of $2.6 trillion.

The report by investment experts reveals the movement to take money out of fossil fuels like oil, coal and gas has grown 50-fold in one year.

At the same time, more capital is flowing into renewable energy and other solutions to climate change problems, it said.

"Climate change is severely impacting the health of our planet and all of its inhabitants," said DiCaprio, announcing his promise to divest on behalf of himself and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, which supports conservation projects around the world.

"We must transition to a clean energy economy that does not rely on fossil fuels, the main driver of this global problem," the celebrity environmentalist added in a statement.

Local governments and investors from 43 countries have committed to stop supporting fossil fuels, including municipalities, pension funds, medical associations and churches, the coalition backing the movement said.

The report, launched in New York by investment consultancy Arabella Advisors, did not specify how much of the $2.6 trillion in overall assets represented by those that have pledged to divest was invested in fossil fuels.

Thomas Van Dyck, managing director of SRI Wealth Management Group, said the research showed a growing number of investors wanted to reduce their carbon risk and switch their money into clean-growth industries.   Continued...

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio smiles during a news conference in New York September 22, 2015. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton