RIETI Open BBL Webinar

Voice Through Divestment


Divestment is considered inferior to engagement because it has a small direct effect on stock prices, and it negates voting power. Paradoxically, fossil free divestment pledges can be a complement to shareholder engagement. We show that go fossil free is an economic narrative that has an impact beyond the actual amounts divested. It is a simple story with a core contagious element that stigmatises target companies. It puts pressure on corporate boards to effect change. It threatens the social licence to operate and increases stranded asset risk. We show that the virality of divestment pledges on Twitter coincides with an increase in the carbon premium and a higher cost of capital. Risk averse investors should divest from carbon out of self-interest, reinforcing the narrative. Activists were right to campaign for divestment pledges from renowned institutions and individuals.


  • Time and Date: 12:15-13:15, Tuesday, November 22, 2022 (JST)
  • Venue: Online
  • Language: English
  • Admission: Free
  • Host: Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI)
  • Contact: Ms. BABA, Conference Section
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  • Marco BECHT (Professor, Free University of Brussels / ECGI)
    Marco Becht is a Professor of Finance and the Goldschmidt Professor of Corporate Governance at the Solvay Brussels School for Economics and Management at Free University of Brussels where he teaches master courses on corporate governance, corporate restructuring and law, finance and economics. Becht is also a Founder Member, a Fellow and the Executive Director of the European Corporate Governance Institute, an international non-profit scientific association.
    In 2003 and 2012, he was Visiting Professor and Fellow at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, in 2008 Max Schmidheiny Visiting Professor for Entrepreneurship and Risk at the University of St.
    Gallen, in 2011 Visiting Professor at Stanford Law School and a Visiting Fellow at the Rock Center for Corporate Governance and in 2013 a Visiting Fellow at Columbia Law School.
    Beyond his core academic activities Becht is a member of the Group of Financial Market Law Experts of the German Ministry of Finance and a Senior Academic Adviser to Oxera, the Economic Consultancy.
  • FURUSAWA Koyu (Chief Executive, Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society / Visiting Professor, Kokugakuin University)