The Rockefeller Foundation has committed to divesting its $5 billion endowment from fossil fuel companies and avoid taking on future fossil fuel investments, according to an announcement made in December.
The move away from fossil fuels is part of a reimagining of the Foundation’s philanthropic model, said Rockefeller President Dr Rajiv Shah in a statement. In 2020, Rockefeller borrowed money from the bond market to boost its financial commitment to ending the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as develop a global platform to predict and prevent the next disease from becoming a pandemic. At the same time, the Foundation also committed to ‘a just, equitable recovery’ through supporting clean and sustainable sources of power; for Rockefeller, that included divesting its endowment from fossil fuels.
‘We must emerge from the Covid-19 crisis not just to the status quo but by building a more equitable, sustainable world. Achieving that goal requires collaborating with private investors, international organizations, and governments to spark billions of dollars of new investments in infrastructure that accelerates access to clean, safe, and reliable renewable energy across Africa, Asia, and Latin America,’ said Shah.
During the World Economic Forum this week, as well as at the upcoming IMF, World Bank, and G20 meetings, Rockefeller has been looking for partners to join it on, as it strives to support a green recovery from the pandemic.
Shah said: ‘Pursuing these endeavours required reimagining the future. Rethinking how we invest in order to maximize our impact. The Foundation’s newest chapter – making large investments in clean energy while moving out of the few fossil-fuel investments it still has – aligns with Rockefeller’s vision of encouraging scaled investments and seeking creative and science-based solutions to intractable problems. All of our efforts are based on our pioneering legacy of enabling individuals, families and communities to flourish making opportunity universal.’