Move the Nuclear Weapons Money


Move the Nuclear Weapons Money

Other Related Projects and Groups:

Divest from the War Machine:


CalSTRS: Divest from General Dynamics

Don’t Bank on the Bomb

National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee


One trillion dollars is being spent to modernize the nuclear arsenals of nine countries over the next 10 years. This money could instead be used to help end poverty, protect the climate, build global peace and achieve the sustainable development goals.

Help us move the nuclear weapons money to better purposes! Move the Nuclear Weapons Money campaign is promoting cuts in nuclear weapons budgets, divestment from the nuclear weapons industry, and reallocation of these budgets and investments to support peace, climate and the sustainable development goals. Partner organizations hold similar campaigns on divestment from fossil fuels and conventional weapons industries.

The anti-nuclear weapons campaign has been boosted by the UN Global Compact adding nuclear weapons to its list of excluded investments, and the UN Human Rights Committee adopting General Comment 36, which affirms that the threat or use of nuclear weapons violates the Right to Life. Activists are also referring to the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (‘Ban Treaty’) and the International Court of Justice 1996 nuclear weapons case to convince their cities, universities, governments, pension funds and banks to end their investments in nuclear weapons.

Move the Nuclear Weapons Money is also organising public actions such as Count the Nuclear Weapons Money. While governments met at the United Nations for United Nations Disarmament Week and the UN General Assembly, Oct 24-30, 2019, we counted the money by hand— $100 million per minute in $1 million dollar notes, in front of the United Nations and at other publicly visible places in New York City. Counting took seven days and nights. Teams included people of all ages, nations, backgrounds; celebrities, activists, politicians, UN officials, diplomats, artists, religious leaders, sportspeople, refugees and others. Contact us for future activities.

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NY City’s Pension Fund Divests

In January 2018, New York City decided to divest the city’s $189bn pension funds from fossil fuel companies within the next five years. Now the city looks set to also divest from the nuclear weapons industry.

Last Tuesday (January 28, 2020), the Council held public hearings on draft Resolution 0976 which calls on New York City to support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and divest from the nuclear weapons industry, and on Initiative 1621 to reaffirm New York City as a nuclear weapons-free zone and establish an advisory committee to implement this status.

The draft measures were introduced to the council in June 2019 by Council members Daniel Dromm, Helen Rosenthal and Ben Kallos. Since then, New York peace, climate and disarmament activists have been campaigning to build endorsement from enough council members for the adoption of these two measures.

The campaign has included directed research, lobbying of councillors, public events & actions, and open letters in support such as the Move the Nuclear Weapons Money Open letter to New York City Council sent to every city councillor in November 2019.

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We have a blog too

Welcome to this action page. We welcome your actions to cut nuclear weapons budgets and end investments in the nuclear weapons industry. Check out our blog for updates and exciting actions.

Two Campaigns Could Work Together

I have read that every year the fossil fuel industries receive $5 trillion in subsidies. What I wonder is whether the two campaigns could work together in a money-counting project that shows where the money could be spent better and what can be done with that money.

Combining with the Fossil Fuels Opposition?

Dear Tom, Thank you for the suggestion. It was good to see that Greta Thunberg raised the issue of fossil fuel subsidies when she was in New York, and this has helped get some momentum behind the campaign to end the subsidies. When we counted out the nuclear weapons money over 7 days and nights in NY, we focused on re-allocation of this money to supporting the climate. BUt we did not address the issue of the fossil fuel subsidies. I can raise your idea with leaders in the climate movement to see if we might be able to do something along those lines… It could be very effective…


How much influence does the Global Compact have?

Interesting that the Global Compact now bans investments in nuclear weapons. Now we need to know how much influence the Global Compact has. For example, what percentage of the world’s corporations have adopted it. And isn’t it a voluntary thing? What if they say they follow the Global Compact but don’t actually do so? What happens?

“Controversial Weapons?”

Dear Mavis,
Unfortunately the nuclear weapons lobby (and the pro nuclear governments) have already hit back and told the UN Global Compact that they should have not gone so far as to add the nuclear weapons industry to the exclusion list for investments. As such, it appears as though the Compact has partially withdrawn, as they have replaced the Sep 2017 guidelines with updated guidelines that only mention ‘controversial weapons’.

In any case, you are correct that the guidelines are indeed guidelines. They are not compulsory for the 12,000 financial institutions that are members.


So what’s next?

That’s a great start. Now please tell us what follow-up activities are planned.

Dear Nirmala,

We invite you (and others) to join the Move the Nuclear Weapons Money social media campaign. Send us a quote and your photo and we will turn this into a meme for social media promotion. Send to Memes are posted on facebook at


Counting Out the Money

From October 24-30 (UN Disarmament Week), a team of volunteers in New York City counted out $542 billion – the approximate global nuclear weapons budget for the next five years – and symbolically reallocated this to climate protection, poverty alleviation and the Sustainable Development Goals. The money was counted in 542,000 mock notes each of value $1million.

The event was part of a global campaign to cut nuclear weapons budgets, end investments in the nuclear weapons industry and re-direct these budgets and investments to peace, disarmament, climate protection and sustainable development.

‘Most people have no idea how much is $1 billion, let alone $500 billion, says Holger Gūssefeld, World Future Council adviser and conceiver of the money counting project. ‘By counting this note-by-note we come to realise the absolute insanity of investing so much money in devices designed to bring unimaginable misery into the world instead of using these precious resources to solve the global social, humanitarian and environmental problems.’

‘We had hoped to count 1 million notes to make up $1 trillion, the nuclear weapons budget for the next ten years’ said Susanna Choe, Co-founder of Peace Accelerators and one of the main money counters. ‘But this amount of money is so vast, that even counting with notes of $1million and with many volunteers counting, it was too much.’

We filled basket after basket with billions of dollars,’ said Bill Kidd, Member of the Scottish Parliament and another of the main money counters. ‘This money could protect the climate, end poverty, ensure universal health care, support peace and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals if it were not wasted on nuclear weapons.’
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