Extinction Rebellion Cambridge - Home

Divestment jargon explained

Back to divestment home

Divestment is full of similar sounding jargon! Here are some of the most-used terms explained.

  • Direct investment - an investment in a given company or asset of any class over which the investor has complete control (i.e. they can sell it or buy more of the same whenever they like)
  • Divestment - to sell some kind of asset for financial, ethical, or political objectives; the opposite of investment
  • Ecocide - human activity that violates the principles of environmental justice by substantially damaging or destroying ecosystems or by harming the health and well-being of a species (including humans)
  • Fossil fuel - any fuel extracted from beneath the Earth's surface which, when burnt, results in extra greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere. Coal, oil, and gas are all fossil fuels.
  • Fossil fuel company - any company involved in the exploration, extraction, refining, transporting, and/or marketing of fossil fuels. This includes the development and sale of technology used to aid any of these e.g. artificial intelligence software used to find new oil deposits, or research into better extraction techniques.
  • Full divestment - the divestment of all (i.e. all direct and indirect) investments in a given industry
  • Greenwashing - the dissemination of misleading (mis)information in order to present a positive public environmental image; used to conceal or divert attention from the simultaneous abuse of the environment by that company or institution; fostering a false sense of security in the reader/viewer, reassuring them that their climate action and observation is no longer needed
  • Indirect investment - an investment in a range of different funds or assets of any class held through an external entity (e.g. fund manager) over which the investor does not have direct control (for example, they do not have direct control over what kinds or exactly which companies/assets are invested in and which are not)
  • Partial divestment - the divestment of direct investments in a given industry