Mayoral Pledge to Divest from Fossil Fuel Stocks
Climate change represents the single greatest long-term threat to our cities and citizens. The health, wealth, infrastructure and ability to maintain basic services of cities will increasingly be degraded as our planet warms and our weather worsens. Scientists tell us that we can only put 500 gigatons more of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere and still keep global temperature rise below 2°C, a goal that the United States and nearly every other country on Earth has agreed to meet. Yet the fossil fuel industry has 2795 gigatons of CO2 in their coal, oil and gas reserves, five times more than we can safely release.
Divestment is a powerful tool that can send a message to the fossil fuel industry. The logic of divestment is simple: We shouldn’t be funding our retirement by investing in companies whose operations ensure we won’t have a safe planet to retire on. It’s not worth greening your city for the next generation, if you’re also investing in companies that are threatening that generation’s future. Local governments have the opportunity to be leaders in combatting this contradiction by divesting their funds – general, retirement, utility, pension, etc. – from fossil fuel companies.