Making the Case for Divestment

Fortunately there is an increase in divesement efforts over the last years. There are more financial institutions now than last year that refuse to finance the nuclear weapon industry. With that, they diminish available investment capital and they promote the further stigmatisation of nuclear weapons. In some countries, government or the parliament has started to respond to divestment campaigns by discussing or even passing national legislation (Switzerland) or by setting new guidelines for national pension fund investments (as in Norway).

Download Chapter 1- Making the Case for Divestment

While it is unlikely that divestment by a single financial institution would create sufficient pressure on a company for it to end its involvement in nuclear weapons work, divestment by even a few institutions based on the same ethical objection can have a significant impact on a company’s strategic direction. Exclusions by financial institutions do have a stigmatising effect and can convince directors to decide to reduce reliance on nuclear weapons contracts and expand into other areas.

This chapter reviews some of the reasons that financial institutions should develop comprehensive policies prohibiting any investment in nuclear weapon producers.

written by

Susi Snyder is the Nuclear Disarmament Programme Manager for Pax in the Netherlands. Mrs. Snyder has coordinated the research, publication and campaigning activities surrounding the annually updated Don’t Bank on the Bomb report since 2013. She has published numerous reports and articles, including Dealing with a ban (2015); The Rotterdam Blast: The immediate humanitarian consequences of a 12 kiloton nuclear explosion (2014); and Withdrawal Issues: What NATO countries say about the future of tactical nuclear weapons in Europe (2011). She is an International Steering Group member of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, and a 2016 Nuclear Free Future Award Laureate. Previously, Mrs. Snyder served as the Secretary General of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom at their Geneva secretariat.

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