German electricity giants have recently taken high-level decisions to remove selected fossil fuel operations from their company portfolio. This new corporate strategy could be seen as a direct response to the growing global influence of the fossil fuel divestment campaign.
Dagmar Kiyar (Wuppertal Institute) and Bettina B. F. Wittneben (University of Oxford) examine in their paper whether the divestment movement currently exerts significant influence on decision-making at the top four German energy giants - E.ON, RWE, Vattenfall and EnBW. They come to the conclusion that this is not yet the case, but that rather four alternative influences on corporate strategy have currently a greater impact than the divestment movement in Germany's power sector. In time, however, clear political decisions, like a phasing out of global fossil fuels subsidies and strong civil support may increase the significance of climate change concerns in the strategic management of the German electricity giants.
The paper "Carbon as Investment Risk - The Influence of Fossil Fuel Divestment on Decision Making at Germany's Main Power Providers" was published in the open access journal "Energies" and is available for download.