Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

The Guardian launches campaign to keep fossil fuels in the ground

The front cover of the Guardian at the launch of their fossil fuel divestment campaign, 17th of March. Image credit: The Guardian.

By Anders Lorenzen

In a revamped effort to increase their climate change coverage, the Guardian has launched a campaign in partnership with the grassroots climate change campaign organisation calling for fossil fuels to be kept in the ground.

The UK based newspaper has joined the growing fossil fuel divestment campaign by calling for Bill and Melinda Gates of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Jeremy Farrar and Sir William Castell, Director and Chair of the Wellcome Trust, to divest their holdings from fossil fuels.

The petition reads: ‘Your organisations have made a huge contribution to human progress and equality by supporting scientific research and development projects. Yet your investments in fossil fuels are putting this progress at great risk, by undermining your long term ambitions’.

It goes on to call for them to divest holdings from the top 200 fossil fuel companies within five years and freeze any new investments in those companies.

The petition is just one part of Guardian’s new campaign ‘Keep it in the ground’ and this Guardian produced video (above) make the case why we need to keep fossil fuels in the ground.

The Guardian’s outgoing Editor In Chief, Alan Rusbridger, says: The argument for a campaign to divest from the world’s most polluting companies is becoming an overwhelming one, on both moral and financial grounds. As Archbishop Desmond Tutu puts it: “People of conscience need to break their ties with corporations financing the injustice of climate change”.

Mr. Rusbridger also appealed to whistleblowers to join the campaign, especially those working inside the fossil fuel industry to help expose their dealings.

The fossil fuel divestment campaign which was started by in 2013, has grown in to a truly global campaign with universities, organisations, companies and pension funds across the globe divesting from fossil fuels; the most significant being the Rockefeller Foundation, born from the oil industry, which divested last year.

Bill Gates, whilst having acknowledged the problem of climate change, last year openly supported sceptical environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg who says we need fossil fuels to bring developing countries out of poverty. Will the Guardian campaign change his mind?

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