A charitable fund of the Rockefeller family – who are sitting on a multibillion-dollar oil fortune – has said it will withdraw all its investments from fossil fuel companies.
The Rockefeller Family Fund, a charity set up in 1967 by descendants of John D Rockefeller, said on Wednesday that it would divest from all fossil fuel holdings “as quickly as possible”.
The fund, which was founded by Martha, John, Laurance, Nelson and David Rockefeller, singled out ExxonMobil for particular attention describing the world’s largest oil company as “morally reprehensible”.
John D Rockefeller, who was the richest person in US history when he died in 1937, made his fortune from Standard Oil a precursor of ExxonMobil.
“There is no sane rationale for companies to continue to explore for new sources of hydrocarbons,” the RFF, which has relatively small total holdings of $130m (£92m), said in a statement. “We must keep most of the already discovered reserves in the ground if there is any hope for human and natural ecosystems to survive and thrive in the decades ahead.
“We would be remiss if we failed to focus on what we believe to be the morally reprehensible conduct on the part of ExxonMobil. Evidence appears to suggest that the company worked since the 1980s to confuse the public about climate change’s march, while simultaneously spending millions to fortify its own infrastructure against climate change’s destructive consequences and track new exploration opportunities as the Arctic’s ice receded.”