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Fossil Fuel Divestment Dominates Financial Conference: Blue

| November 12, 2013
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 12, 2013

Posted on November 12, 2013
Filed Under Alternative Energy, Blue Summit News, Climate Change, Green Investing, Investment Related, Socially Responsible Investing

Fossil Fuel Divestment Dominates Financial Conference: Blue Summit at Cutting Edge

Two weeks ago marked the 24th anniversary for The SRI Conference on Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing (formerly SRI in the Rockies), held this year at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado. As stated on the conference website, it is “the premier annual gathering of investors and investment professionals working to make money and direct the flow of investment capital toward a truly sustainable future.”

“This year was the second most attended SRI Conference in its history, perhaps in part due to the focus on fossil fuel and climate change issues,” reflected Judith L. Seid, Founder of Blue Summit Wealth Management.

In fact eight separate breakout sessions and one main plenary session focused on the investment risks associated with increasing regulation over the fossil fuel sector, as well as the ensuing opportunities in the alternative energy sector.*

A standing room only breakout session featuring John Streur, President, Portfolio 21 Investments, titled: Beyond Fossil Fuel Free: Renewables Aren’t the Story

Although activist investors have been pressuring oil companies to clean up their act for decades, many SRI specialists believe that we are nearing a tipping point. In May this year, First Affirmative Financial Network published the results of their Fossil Fuel Divestment Survey, concluding that 63 percent of SRI professionals expect climate-prompted fossil fuel divestment in the next 10 years.

Over half of sustainable, responsible, impact (SRI) investment industry professionals say that retail investors (65 percent) and institutional investors (53 percent) are currently expressing interest in fossil fuel-free portfolios in the face of growing signs of climate change, according to the Fossil Fuel Divestment Survey.

More recently, as published on two weeks ago, a group of over 70 investors representing over $3 trillion in collective assets launched a coordinated effort meant to spur 45 of the world’s top oil and gas, coal and electric power companies to assess the financial risks that climate change poses to their business plan. The investors are asking these companies to examine and disclose their “exposure to the risks associated with current and probable future policies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050.”

“Pioneers in this industry have been at this for a long time and it’s great to see some headway,” remarked Shane Yonston, Managing Partner at Blue Summit. “The question now becomes: ‘which industries and companies will replace the fossil fuel-based market and where do I best position my portfolio?’”

With a 20-year history focusing on SRI, Blue Summit published a brief guide titled Fight Climate Change with Your Portfolio,in which they review the Fossil Fuel Free movement, driven largely by, which has become the fastest growing divestment campaign in history. The guide also features San Diego’s own volunteer group, along with their current efforts to persuade CalPERS and CalSTRS to divest from fossil fuels. In addition, four practical steps are offered for any investor who wants to have their money working for cleaner air:

1) Choose Investments Fighting Climate Change: Depending on what investments you hold, there may exist similar investment vehicles that consider the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria of any portfolio holdings. Feel free to contact us to discuss investment options if you need assistance.

2) Engage as a Shareholder:Check out this link to Green America’s guide on voting your proxies and,if you’ve owned $2,000 worth of a stock for more than a year, you’re eligible to file a resolution. If you’re interested in this option but have never filed a resolution before then we suggest you co-file along with a group of other shareholders who have experience. You can find the deadlines for filing resolutions for the company you’re interested in on the “Edgar” site of the SEC’s website.

3) Get Active in the Community: Read this white paper from the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and discuss it with the leadership at your place of faith: Insights for Investors Working for Bolder Intervention on Climate Change. You could also discuss your college’s endowment policies, whether you’re an alumnus, student or current administrator, with help from the Responsible Endowments Coalition. In addition, consider getting involved with a local chapter and their efforts to pressure local public agencies to divest from major CO2 contributors.

4) Pressure Fund Companies to Act: As a way to pitch into this effort, Blue Summit is not only sending out this article to thousands of people nation-wide, but we’re also advocating for all of our clients and community of supporters to sign onto this, Fossil Fuel Free campaign. The petition calls for three of the country’s largest mutual fund companies, representing billions of dollars worth of shares owned by retail investors, to offer broad-based equity funds that minimize climate risk by excluding the 200 largest fossil fuel companies, and to make those funds widely available to ordinary investors.

Offered by Blue Summit Wealth Management, one of the nation’s most trusted financial services firms specializing in sustainable and socially responsible investing since 1994.


*List of The SRI Conference sessions focused on the energy sector

Main Plenary Panel:

Tom Steyer, Business Leader and Investor
Shelley Alpern, Director of Social Research and Advocacy, Clean Yield Asset Management; moderator
Bennett Freeman, Senior Vice President, Sustainability Research and Policy, Calvert Investments

Breakout Sessions:

Steve Douglas, Vice President, Investor Relations, Suncor Energy
Judith Albert, JD, Executive Director, Environmental Entrepreneur (E2)
Erik Wohlgemuth, Chief Operations Officer, The Future 500; moderator
Andrea Moffat, Vice President, Corporate Program, Ceres; moderator

John Streur, President, Portfolio 21 Investments

Cheryl Smith, PhD, CFA, Managing Partner, Trillium Asset Management

Sarah Cleveland, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Sarah Cleveland Consulting; moderator
John Streur, President, Portfolio 21 Investments
Garvin Jabusch, Co-Founder, Chief Investment Officer, Green Alpha Advisors
Dan Kern, Chief Executive Officer, Advisor Partners

Richard Liroff, PhD, Executive Director, Investor Environmental Health Network; moderator
Elise Jones, Boulder County Commissioner, Boulder County, Colorado
Doug Arent, PhD, Executive Director, Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis
Alan Krupnick, Senior Fellow and Director, Center for Energy Economics and Policy, Resources for the Future

Todd Paglia, JD, Executive Director, ForestEthics
Jeff Seabright, Vice President, Environment and Water Resources, The Coca Cola Company
Erik Wohlgemuth, Chief Operations Officer, The Future 500; moderator

Tim Newell, Chief Executive Officer, CommonAssets

Nancy Pfund, Managing Partner, DBL Investors
Matt Ferguson, Principal, Reznick Group
Jeff Eckel, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hannon Armstrong
Dan Rosen, Chief Executive Officer, Solar Mosaic
Dan Adler, Managing Director, CalCEF; moderator

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