The Guardian is taking an unusual and forward stance with this campaign — they’re asking Bill Gates to take a leading role in the fight against climate change.
Part of the “Keep it in the Ground” campaign, editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger cites the Gates Foundation’s tremendous outreach, resources and past successes as the perfect reason why the organization — and its key leaders, Bill and Melinda Gates — should also take a more public role in the fight against climate change. More specifically, by not investing Gates Foundation funds in fossil fuels companies.
“Since mid-March, the Guardian’s Keep it in the Ground campaign, in partnership with 350.org, has been calling on the Gates Foundation (and also the Wellcome Trust, another global medical charity) to divest its $43.5bn (£28bn) endowment from fossil fuel assets,” Rusbridger writes in the Guardian. “That would mean moving $1.4bn from oil, coal and gas stocks into alternatives.”
“The logic is simple,” Rusbridger continues. “These companies are committed to prospecting for more fossil fuels at a time when proven reserves are already far greater than we can afford to safely burn.”
The Guardian campaign, which launched in mid-March, states that it has collected “over 190,000 voices from over 170 countries.” You can see the petition here.
The Gates Foundation’s global press secretary Christopher Williams told us via email: “The Gates Foundation’s assets are independently managed by a separate entity, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust. I can tell you what I have told others, including the Guardian itself: I and the other staff of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation do not speak for the Trust, and the Trust does not comment on its holdings.”
Watch the Guardian‘s latest video, calling on help from Bill, below: