The Podcast: Valerie Rockefeller on ditching fossil fuels

The Podcast

The Podcast: Valerie Rockefeller on ditching fossil fuels

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The Rockefeller Brothers Fund has been divesting its $860 million fossil fuel portfolio. In this episode, fund board chair Valerie Rockefeller and fund president Stephen Heintz join us to discuss the legacy of John D. Rockefeller and the art of modern-day impact investing.

In this episode:

  • Before speaking with Rockefeller and Heintz, host Jared Downing gives his usual climate news update, this time about a mass die-off of migratory birds in the southwest United States. The birds are migrating too early and diverting their routes to avoid the raging wildfires, and it has caused hundreds of thousands to fall from the sky. Experts blame climate change, which will only continue to destroy seasonal ecosystems as the world gets hotter.


  • Jared then speaks with Rockefeller and Heintz, who argue that John D. Rockefeller, despite his reputation for ruthless business, always had a heart for giving back what he earned. They describe how a combination of ethical responsibility and market opportunity have led the Rockefeller Brothers Fund to focus on sustainable investments — and how, so far, those investments have paid off. Hopefully, they say, the rise of conscientious investing and demand for sustainable energy alternatives will motivate even cold, hard capitalists to do well by doing good.


  • After that interview, Jared speaks with Climate & Capital Media’s John Howell about the upcoming Climate Finance Weekly newsletter, an email digest to help readers keep up with the latest and most important news about the climate economy.

Written by

Jared Downing

Jared Downing is managing editor of Climate & Capital Media. Before Climate&Capital, he spent five years in Yangon, Myanmar, producing the human rights podcast Doh Athan and producing features, columns, and cartoons for Frontier Myanmar, that country's leading English language magazine. Prior to that, he was a freelance writer in Birmingham Alabama, focusing on city culture and social justice.