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Rockefeller Brothers Fund, other philanthropies pledging $50 billion fossil fuel divestment

On Monday, several big names — including the Rockefellers — will announce pledges to divest $50 billion from fossil fuel investments.

The Global Divest-Invest coalition plans on announcing the new pledges and members the day before heads of state from around the world tell the United Nations how they will combat global warming, Reuters reports. The divestment movement started three years ago, and since then, 650 people and 180 institutions have stated that over five years, they will divest from fossil fuels.

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund is part of the movement, and Stephen Heintz, an heir of Standard Oil's John D. Rockefeller, believes the tycoon would approve. "We are quite convinced that if he were alive today, as an astute businessman looking out to the future, he would be moving out of fossil fuels and investing in clean, renewable energy," Heintz said in a statement.

So far this year, numerous states, hospitals, pension funds, churches, and colleges have all committed to the cause. In May, Stanford University said it would no longer use its almost $19 billion endowment to invest in coal mining companies, but not every college is jumping on the bandwagon: the University of California voted last week to keep its investments in fossil fuels. This move disappointed many students, who wanted to see the University of California divest its portfolio in natural gas, coal, and oil.