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Divestment from Fossil Fuels

A Guide for City Officials and Activists

February 26, 2014

James Irwin and Satya Rhodes-Conway

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.

The Mayors Innovation Project, in partnership with Bill McKibben and 350.org, is working to support the local government fossil fuel divestment movement. Building on the example set by Mayor McGinn of Seattle, we’re removing municipal funds from fossil fuel investments, and working with pension funds to do the same. 

Resources and Examples