Environmental Danger of Fossil Fuels

While the most damaging impact of fossil fuels is their combustion and the subsequent creation of carbon emissions, the extraction processes for coal and petroleum also cause considerable damage to the environment: destruction of habitats, removal of local vegetation and vegetative cover, pollution of ground- or surface-water, excessive waste from purification processes, acid rain, oil spills, and more. The extraction and consumption of fossil fuels worsens the temperature crisis and weakens crucial natural ecosystems, increasing the likelihood of climate disasters and the harm that follows. Damaged ecosystems limit the productivity of food sources, the structural integrity of both human and natural landmarks, and human health. Although fossil fuels continue to make up most of the world’s energy sources, renewable resources like wind and solar energy are becoming cheaper and more available, and providing an increasing amount of the world’s power.


Fossil Free Indexes produces the Carbon Underground 200, which ranks the top oil, gas, and coal companies by the potential CO2 emissions of their reported reserves. If you select this cause, OpenInvest divests you from the companies with the highest emissions potential and keeps you invested in the companies with the lowest emissions potential. Divesting from all fossil fuel companies would affect our ability to provide a well-diversified solution, but may be available upon request.

Additional Information

Union of Concerned Scientists