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Climate change fears spur divestment on fossil fuels

In the run-up to a United Nations summit this week aimed at combating climate change, a small but growing number of multimillion-dollar investors are demanding more aggressive steps to wean countries from fossil-fuel consumption.

The fledgling movement to divest shares tied to fossil fuels, which started at a handful of universities and foundations, has grown to 180 institutions and local governments and 654 individuals, with a total of $50 billion in assets, according to a report to be issued Monday afternoon by an activist group that works with investors.

Foundations that have recently decided to divest from fossil-fuel holdings include the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, a...