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Rockefellers plan to pull their charity fund out of fossil fuels

September 22, 2014, 11:53 AM UTC
Rockefeller Family Discusses Concerns About Direction Of ExxonMobil
NEW YORK - APRIL 30: Stephen B Heintz (C), President, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Neva Rockefeller Goodwin (L), economist and great-granddaughter of John D Rockefeller, and Connecticut State Treasurer Denise L. Nappier attend a news conference in which Rockefeller family members voiced concern about the direction of the oil company ExxonMobil April 30, 2008 in New York City. Among other things, the family members called for the oil giant to explore today's alternate fuels in light of the evolving energy industry. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Photo by Spencer Platt — Getty Images

This post is in partnership with Time. The article below was originally published at

By Rishi Iyengar, TIME

(TIME)–The Rockefeller oil dynasty is set to divest its charity foundation from fossil fuels, the New York Times reports.

The family, whose patriarch John D. Rockefeller founded Standard Oil in 1870, will put its Rockefeller Brothers Fund — an $860 million philanthropic organization — into the same category as around 180 other institutions, including religious organizations and pension funds, which have pledged to divest any assets tied to fossil fuels in lieu of cleaner and more-sustainable alternatives.

Hundreds of wealthy individuals have made similar moves. The Times cites a statement from Arabella Advisors that says a total of $50 billion from various groups, and $1 billion from individuals, has been divested from fossil fuels in recent years.

The Rockefeller fund has already replaced its investments in coal and tar sands entirely while investing in more alternative energy sources, but its president Stephen Heintz said that progress toward complete divestment from fossil fuels is being made slowly but surely. “We’re moving soberly, but with real commitment,” he said.

The announcement comes on the eve of a U.N. climate-change summit, with hundreds of thousands of people taking to the streets of New York City on Sunday demanding more concrete action on global warming.