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Major Oil Family to Divest Itself of Fossil Fuel Investments to Support Renewable Energy Instead

Environment

"A moral imperative to preserve a healthy planet."

John D. Rockefeller Sr. was a founder of the Oil Standard Company. This week, his heirs announced that they would be divesting themselves of investments in fossil fuels. (Image source: Wikimedia)

The Rockefeller family announced Monday that it would be divesting itself of fossil fuel investments in favor of supporting clean energy instead.

John D. Rockefeller Sr. was a founder of the Oil Standard Company. This week, his heirs announced that they would be divesting themselves of investments in fossil fuels. (Image source: Wikimedia) John D. Rockefeller Sr. was a founder of the Oil Standard Company. This week, his heirs announced that they would be divesting themselves of investments in fossil fuels. (Image source: Wikimedia)

"The Rockefeller Brothers Fund has been working to better align its endowed assets with its mission since 2010, when the board of trustees approved a commitment of up to 10 percent of the endowment to investments consistent with the foundation's Sustainable Development program goals," the Rockefeller Brothers Fund said in a news release.

"The Fund has begun a two-step process to divest from investments in fossil fuels, first focusing on limiting its exposure to coal and tar sands, with a goal to reduce these investments to less than one percent of the total portfolio by the end of 2014. The Fund is also analyzing in detail its remaining fossil fuel exposure and will develop a plan for further divestment as quickly as is prudent over the next few years," the release continued.

Valerie Rockefeller Wayne, the great-great-granddaughter John D. Rockefeller Sr., told the New York Times that it is "a moral imperative to preserve a healthy planet."

The divestment announcement comes a day before world leaders will come together for the U.N. Climate Summit in New York City.

The fund's director, Stephen Heintz, said he believes this decision would be consistent with the wishes of the senior Rockefeller, who founded the Oil Standard Company, which helped build his fortune.

"We are quite convinced that if he were alive today, as an astute businessman looking out to the future, he would be moving out of fossil fuels and investing in clean, renewable energy," Mr Heintz said in a statement, according to BBC.

To the Times, Heintz said this move was based on both a "moral" and "an economic case.”

On Monday, activists also planned to flood Wall Street in protest of what they say is corporate and economic institutions' role in the climate crisis.

The protesters, dressed in blue, scheduled a rally in Battery Park before marching to the financial district in Lower Manhattan, according to organizers of #FloodWallStreet.

Protesters take part in the 'Flood Wall Street' demonstrations and march on September 22, 2104 in lower Manhattan , preceding the United Nations's 'Climate Summit 2014: Catalyzing Action' in New York. (TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images) Protesters take part in the 'Flood Wall Street' demonstrations and march on September 22, 2104 in lower Manhattan , preceding the United Nations's 'Climate Summit 2014: Catalyzing Action' in New York. (TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

Organizers said in a news release that the sit-in aimed to disrupt business in the financial district by targeting "corporate polluters and those profiting from the fossil fuel industry."

On Sunday, tens of thousands of activists participated in the People's Climate March through Manhattan warning that climate change is destroying the Earth.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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