Fossil fuel divestment campaigns are a worthwhile tool to prompt action on climate change, but direct engagement may be a more effective way to shift energy production, writes Justin Bull of the ISIS Research Centre at the University of British Columbia. Although fossil fuel campaigns are tracking faster than the anti-apartheid divestment movement of the 1980s, the push on South Africa’s apartheid regime was coupled with broader boycotts and sanctions. “If divestiture slows carbon emissions at all, the impact is slight,” Bull wrote. “And if it hurts the profitability of fossil fuel companies, the effect is brief. But it is still one of the most effective ways for student organizations to raise awareness and demand action.”
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