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Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Divestment – great on the large scale – yet what of all the little co-operatives?

Divestment is a word that has been banded about as a trend in the mid 2010’s and with some successful campaigns encouraging industry and Government to support a switch in support towards more ‘sustainable’ resources.

Can we really pull all funding away from these ‘bad sources’ of coal burning/oil exploration? Will divestment really make a fundamental shift in such a short term? It would be na├»ve to believe that hundreds of millions of sterlings, Euro’s, Dollars, Yen will switch over in a short amount of time that the carpet will be pulled under from all these dirty technologies?
Unlikely …..
It may be premature to mention that nuclear and fossil fuels have ‘lost the race’ as transition is not as easy as many believe. With pension schemes from big UK firms looking to potentially switch investments towards massive projects such as Swansea Tidal Lagoon (and Cardiff and Newport Lagoons) yet what about all the smaller co-operatives that have been screaming out for funding for the last twenty years? Will they continue to be overlooked?
There are many heroes that it would not be right to forget about who pioneered community renewables and investing in local areas yet were unsuccessful in their initial renewable energy applications at the turn of the century (Awel Aman Tawe  in Swansea and Arts Factory  in Ferndale) yet hopefully their reinvented practises will flourish this time around as the 2010’s recognises greater need for co-operatives in renewables, housing, food, skills etc.

Divestment is important, yet what was holding it back a decade ago in boom periods? After all the media pomp has quietened ….. will we remember the investment in small co-operatives? Or will we look towards the larger impressive projects?

What choice would you make?