Ellen Dorsey, Executive Director of the Wallace Global Fund, yesterday collected the Nelson Mandela-Graca Machel Innovation Award for Brave Philanthropy on behalf of the 135 philanthropy organisations, trusts and foundations that have pledged to divest from fossil fuels and invest in climate solutions. Amongst them are the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, seven Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts, Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, Mary Robinson Foundation, The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, and the Velux Foundations.
Divest Invest is a symbolic and financial act taken by an increasing number of trusts and foundations. Participating institutions aim to remove the social and political license of fossil fuel companies planning on pushing climate change beyond 2°C, to protect the value of their charitable endowments, to increase investment in renewable energy and to align their investments with their philanthropic goals.
Sarah Butler-Sloss, Chair of the Ashden Trust and one of the first UK charitable trusts to commit to Divest Invest, said, ‘Divest Invest is changing attitudes towards future fossil fuel use. This award is a great honour for the Divest Invest movement and for each of the 135 foundations which have shown courage and leadership in signing. It is brave, but financially prudent. Through divesting from fossil fuels we have increased our charitable income and our grant-making capacity. By investing in climate solutions we have increased financing of renewable energy. Combined these activities are helping us deliver our mission more effectively. We call on other trusts and foundations to join this movement and help accelerate the move to a low carbon economy and avoid calamitous climate change.’