Life’s most resolute and compelling question is “what are you doing for others?”
The increase in environmental awareness has resulted in a spate of activities to preserve nature. The perception that we have always been and will continue to remain at its mercy is very clear. As active citizens of this planet, we are obligated to play our parts today, in order to secure our tomorrow.
Improving our lives globally.
One such movement to improve our planet is Divest-Invest Philanthropy which is a consequence of the meeting held in Washington by groups of students of American University in June 2011. The initiators have encouraged campuses, people, pension funds, municipalities, faith-based and health-based groups, foundations, businesses, investment advisors and many others to think analytically about the usefulness of divestment of fossil fuels, investment in clean energy and the need for reinvestment in solutions to control climate changes across the globe. This movement can result in a cleaner and more sustainable environment. Fossil fuels are the most readily available answer to power and fuel demands for various purposes, but their use also results in polluted rivers, skies, and air.
Promoting human welfare.
There are many philanthropies and wealthy individuals who have donated money to good causes. Owing to the valid fear of fossil fuels depleting our environment the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF) backed out from the fossil fuel investments and reinvested on the clean energy systems which were then followed by other philanthropies.
John D. Rockefeller the founder of the Rockefeller fund earned a fortune out of oil, but with the recent developments, this foundation is abandoning fossil fuels. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, an $860-million philanthropic organization, is joining the Divest-Invest Philanthropy movement started by colleges a couple years ago. RBF strives to influence a positive change in the world by devoting its resources and time to the causes it believes in.
More than 50 foundations, non-governmental organizations and wealthy individuals who have at least $50 billion in assets followed suit, by pulling out their funding on fossil fuels, particularly coal and oil and investing in cleaner energy systems. One such organization is the World Council of Churches, which has 300 churches and 500 million followers in 150 countries.
The Archbishop Desmond Tutu videotaped a message urging “individuals and institutions of conscience” to act on climate change. Tutu is a global figure, who fought against apartheid in South Africa and is the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
The most recent U.N Climate Summit was the world’s largest gathering on climate change where 120 heads of different states came together and gave speeches on how their countries would propose the welfare of the environment.
The world needs a major overhaul.
There is a great deal of information and eagerness today about the development and increased production of alternative energy sources for global energy needs. Moving water, the wind, and solar energy are all popular sources of alternative energy which are now being used increasingly. With growing concerns about environmental deterioration, it has become imperative for businesses and individuals to consider the use of clean energy sources. While efforts like those made by RBF are encouraging, it would be naïve to believe that they would suffice. Political powerhouses across the globe need to take a more assertive stand on the issue to make good for the damage that has been done to the environment over the centuries.
Future depends on what we do in the present.
The Rockefeller Brothers Fund seeks to support clean energy technologies and decrease the dependence on fossil fuels. It is focused on supporting other business strategies that advance energy efficiency. The RBF is extending its full support and has come up with a two-step process in order to divest from fossil fuels. Its primary focus is on cutting the fund’s exposure to coal and tar sands to less than one percent by the end of 2015 to fight against the damaging effects of fossil fuels.
It is determined to combat against the use of fossil fuels and is undertaking a full analysis of all their fossil fuel investments to plan an appropriate strategy for further divestment in the years to come.
Such proactive steps taken by different philanthropic groups will influence more and more people to come forward for the betterment of our planet so that we can have a better tomorrow. As said by Gandhi – “In a gentle way you can shake the world.”
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