Anson Hartford & Sylvia Rowley

Sylvia Rowley

Executive Producer:
Hugh Hartford

How ordinary people are mobilising to disrupt the fossil fuel industry by redirecting investment.

The business of unearthing coal, oil, and gas reserves to power the world is a multitrillion-dollar industry. But scientists say that in order to avoid catastrophic consequences, at least two-thirds of these reserves need to remain underground to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius. Ordinary people are joining forces to create a global grassroots movement, geared towards taking on some of the biggest organisations and encouraging them to divest: take their money out of the fossil fuels, and, in some cases, invest it in climate solutions. In the past three years, more than 400 institutions worth $2.6 trillion have pledged to divest, including the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, a philanthropic organisation established by the family whose fortunes were built on oil. Russell Beard travels to New York, London and the Garzweiler mine in Germany, where he meets a new generation of young activists such as Danni Paffard from 350.org, who says: "We know we can never bankrupt the fossil fuel industry financially, but what we can do is bankrupt them politically, bankrupt them socially, and bankrupt them morally - and that's what divestment is about."