Shelley Alpern is the Director of Social Research & Advocacy at a company called Clean Yield Asset Management, a company founded by Rian Fried. Eric Becker, also of Clean Yield, is a Sterling Trustee.
Asset owners and institutional investors facing pressure from the divestment movement are starting to look to the idea of engagement as an alternative to divestment. In this piece, I argue that there’s no evidence to support the idea that engagement with fossil fuel companies will get us where we need to go in the time frame we need to get there, and I make it from the perspective of someone who does shareholder engagement for a living and thus might be expected to maintain otherwise. Instead, investors should follow the lead of the UUA, which is divesting from most of its fossil fuel holdings while retaining just enough to file shareholder proposals and thus retain their voice.
Shelley’s piece, “Talk to the Hand: Engagement with Fossil Fuel Companies Offers Little Promise” was recently published in TriplePundit and can be useful to those thinking through divestment.