From Public to Private: Does the Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement Impact Upstream Oil & Gas Divestitures?

On the 8th of June, Theodor Cojoianu and August Jepsen will present their ongoing work on oil and gas divestment at an INTRANSIT-seminar. The seminar will be held on zoom and is open to anyone who registers.

You can register for the seminar here.


This article examines whether fossil fuel divestment commitments are related to divestitures of upstream oil and gas assets.  The analysis is performed using investment banking transaction data across 66 countries over the period 2000-2018.  We find a significant positive relationship between fossil fuel divestment commitments and upstream oil and gas divestitures, particularly for publicly listed companies.  However, the divestment movement may have an unintended effect, as the relationship is most robust with transactions involving publicly listed divestors and private company acquirers.  We interpret upstream divestitures through institutional theory, understanding how the regulatory and normative environment shape these transactions. 

Presenter Bios

Theodor Cojoianu

Dr. Theodor Cojoianu is an Associate Professor in Energy Finance at The University of Edinburgh. Theodor's work at the intersection between sustainability, datascience and finance is focused on applying innovative research methods to the study of sustainable development issues. His work has led him to be invited as a Member of the European Commission's Platform on Sustainable Finance, where he advises the Commission on EU sustainable finance policy and on HM Treasury's Green Technical Advisory Group.
Theodor also serves as: an Academic-in-Residence in Agent Green and Sustainable Nation Ireland, on the advisory board of the EU Energy Efficiency Mortgages Initiative, as a member of Green Finance Ireland, and is involved as an Executive Committee Member on the Global Network on Financial Geography (Fingeo). Previously, he held appointments in the sustainable finance space in both academic and finance industry organisations. He worked in academia within the Centre for Responsible Banking and Finance at the University of St. Andrews, the ICMA Centre at the University of Reading and the University of Edinburgh Business School. He was previously an analyst with MSCI ESG Research in London and affiliated with Sociovestix Labs and Sustainable Investment Partners.
Theodor received his D.Phil. in Geography and the Environment from the University of Oxford and his MSc. in Carbon Finance (Distinction) and MEng. in Electrical Engineering and Management from the University of Edinburgh. Theodor presented professionally relevant insights to Allianz Global Investors, Banking and Payments Federation Ireland, BNP Paribas, Brunel Pension Partnership, Environmental Agency Pension Fund, the Environment Agency Austria (Umweltbundesamt), Investment Innovation Benchmark, Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, International Finance Corporation / World Bank, National Australia Bank and other global financial institutions.
Theodor’s work has been published in journals such as Business Strategy and the Environment, Environmental and Resource Economics, Journal of Economic Geography, Small Business Economics, Research Policy, as well as communicated for practice in high profile reports for international financial institutions looking to invest in the low carbon transition.

August Jepsen

August Jepsen is an independent consultant working on a wide array of projects including fintech solutions for wealth managers, strategy for winemakers utilizing regenerative agriculture practices for vineyard rehabilitation, and natural capital risk assessments for wheat production in Australia. He is a graduate of the MSc Climate Change Finance and Investment programme at the University of Edinburgh and received a BSc in Business Administration from the University of Denver. 
He has over 10 years’ experience working in financial services as a wealth manager and consultant for Registered Investment Advisors in the United States.  In his former role, he managed investments on a discretionary basis using quantitative research driven strategies and advised high-net-worth individuals including Senior Legislators in the House of Representatives and State Governors.  He is a Certified Financial Planner and currently serves on the investment committee for the NextFifty Initiate, a private foundation based in Denver, Colorado, USA.

Published Apr. 11, 2022 9:55 AM - Last modified Apr. 11, 2022 9:55 AM