April 29, 2016

Copenhagen bans investments in coal, oil and gas

 

Copenhagen, Denmark – The City of Copenhagen will pull its investments out of coal, oil and gas companies. The city council agreed yesterday evening to divest the fossil fuel holdings of the city’s 6.9bn kroner (€920m) investment fund.

Danish divestment campaigner Katrine Ehnhuus commented: “The decision to stop investments in fossil fuels has put Copenhagen on the right side of history. We know that the fossil fuel industry has deliberately misled the public on climate change and lobbies aggressively to prevent effective climate policies. Against this backdrop, it is clear that public money should no longer be going towards these companies. We hope that this decision will encourage cities around the world to follow in Copenhagen’s footsteps.

Copenhagen’s mayor Frank Jensen said: “Copenhagen is at the forefront of world cities in the green transition, and we are working hard to become the world’s first CO2 neutral capital in 2025. Therefore it seems totally wrong for the municipality to still be investing in oil, coal and gas. We must change that.”

The Danish capital decided to ban investments in companies that gain more than 5% of their revenue from coal, oil and gas. The criteria apply to companies that engage in prospecting, extracting or refining coal, oil and gas, as well as companies that provide equipment and services to the fossil fuel industry.

Copenhagen is the third municipality in Denmark to divest from fossil fuels, following Roskilde and Frederica, home to a big oil harbour. The Danish capital joins a growing number of cities that have already banned fossil fuel investments such as Norway’s capital Oslo, Paris in France and Newcastle in Australia, the home of the world’s largest coal port.

Divestment is on the agenda in other capitals across Europe: Stockholm, Amsterdam and Berlin are currently reviewing their fossil fuel investments, while the leading mayoral candidates in London all said they want to pull London City Hall’s pension fund out of investments in oil, coal and gas if elected. Overall, more than 500 institutions have made various forms of commitments to reduce their investments in fossil fuels.

In parallel, people around the world are preparing for a series of escalated and peaceful mass actions across six continents this May targeting some of the world’s most dangerous fossil fuel projects, under the banner of Break Free from fossil fuels.

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Contact: Melanie Mattauch, 350.org Europe Communications Coordinator, +49151 5812 0184, melanie@350.org

 

Notes to editors

The proposal by the finance committee that was approved by Copenhagen city council on 28th April 2016 can be found here (in Danish).