Divest from Fossil Fuels

This petition made change with 931 supporters!

As a kid in upstate New York, sometimes I went trick-or-treating in the snow. I remember dressing up as a polar bear one Halloween and waving a sign that said “recycle” on one side and “help” on the other. My February birthday was usually set in a wintry wonderland with feet of snow and icy winds outside the window. In 2016, I turned 20 in 60 degree sunshine… I did not make a single snowman that winter. Measuring average global temperatures, 15 of the 16 hottest years in recorded weather history were in the 21st century. 2015 became the hottest year on record, by the largest margin on record.

Saying the impending consequences of climate change are something for our children to deal with is analogous to staring down the barrel of a gun and saying, “pass on the gunshot to my son.” You can’t be neutral on a moving train.

As an investor, I wanted a diversified and dependable portfolio to maintain my savings against inflation and protect against loss. I didn’t have the time to check the stock market every morning or the money to pay a broker to make regular trades, so I chose passive index investing. It has historically out-competed active fund management and is recommended by Warren Buffet. Essentially, I picked a large basket of good stocks and left it alone to grow. Specifically, I chose the S&P 500, which is regularly used as a benchmark for the entire US economy.

However, I can’t conscientiously give my money to fossil fuel companies when I know they are affecting the planet in such a way.

There is a fossil fuel divestment movement happening all over the world. People I went to high school with are protesting at their universities. So far, $3.4 trillion have been withdrawn from fossil fuel company stocks. I have a small investment in an S&P 500 index fund through Vanguard. In total, Vanguard has $229.2 billion invested in that fund. Fidelity has a $94.4 billion large S&P 500 index fund. Charles Schwab has one with $21.8 billion invested in it. These are some of the best choices out there for an S&P 500 index fund. 6.5% of the S&P 500 is comprised of 39 fossil fuel companies.

We’re petitioning S&P, Vanguard, Charles Schwab and Fidelity to create index funds based on the S&P 500, minus fossil fuel companies, plus the 39 runner up, non fossil fuel companies to keep it at an even 500.

I believe there is a market of environmentally conscious people who want the perks of passive index investing and to exclusively give their money to companies that do things that agree with their personal values. Ethical investing is on the rise.

However you choose to invest, it is advised to start investing as soon as possible in life.

You can choose to invest however you want, but it’s ridiculous that we don’t even have these options to choose from. A fossil fuel free S&P 500 index fund is a common sense option that will need to be created eventually.

To do this, Standard & Poor's needs to create the index. Vanguard, Fidelity, or Charles Schwab can then create a fund that follows it. However, Standard & Poor's will only do this if one of these companies approaches it itself.

Please sign this petition to encourage these companies to work with Standard & Poor’s to create this fossil free investment opportunity for investors and the planet.

Today: Camilo is counting on you

Camilo Ibáñez-Granados needs your help with “Vanguard: Create a Fossil Fuel Free S&P 500 Index Fund”. Join Camilo and 930 supporters today.