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13 May 2016

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation divests $187m stake in BP

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest health charity, has divested its $187 million stake in oil giant BP as part of the growing global fossil fuel divestment movement.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates (pictured) and his wife Melinda set up the Foundation in 2000 to improve healthcare in developing countries.

The Foundation’s investments in coal, oil and gas companies have fallen from $1.4 billion to $200 million since 2014, and it has now sold off its entire holding in BP.

The Foundation sold its $187 million stake in BP between September and December 2015, according to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The charity has already dropped its entire $824 million stake in ExxonMobil.

Alec Connon, of the Gates Divest coalition of social justice groups, politicians and faith leaders said: “We are thrilled that the Gates foundation continues to divest from fossil fuel stocks, but it’s time to divest the rest. Investing in oil companies is completely inconsistent with the Gates foundation mission to ensure that everybody has the chance to live a healthy, productive life.”

Investors managing over $3.4 trillion of assets have committed to fossil fuel divestment as part of a recent worldwide movement.

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