Big news from Beantown! We just learned that Councillor Felix Arroyo, after hearing from concerned mothers about the impacts of climate change on their families, introduced a motion for a hearing on fossil fuel divestment at City Hall (and is invited!). This news is hot on the heels of recent divestment resolutions from neighboring Cambridge, and Berkeley, California.

See the text of the resolution below the break, and don’t forget to sign the Divest Boston petition here!


Offered by:

WHEREAS, Cities have been identified as major contributors to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and major metropolitan areas account for over 70 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions from energy consumption; and,

WHEREAS, Climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions poses risks to Boston residents, visitors,
businesses, institutions and infrastructure; and

WHEREAS, Since 2005, the City of Boston has effectively reduced its total carbon dioxide from approximately 7 million total metric tons of CO2 Equivalent to approximately 6.75 million total metric tons of CO2, amounting to 2 metric tons less emissions per capita. The City’s goal remains to reach a greenhouse gas reduction goal of 25 percent by 2020; and

WHEREAS, On April 25 2013, the Mayors Innovation Project, a learning network among American Mayors committed to policy and governance that supports environmental sustainability, and, an international environmental organization devoted to building a global grassroots movement to promote climate change awareness, announced the official launch of their international divestment campaign; and,

WHEREAS, On June 15 2013, Mayor Mike McGinn confirmed that the City of Seattle has divested from its cash holdings in fossil fuel stocks and has begun the process of divesting its pension holdings as well. The City of Providence has passed a resolution calling for the city’s investment board to produce a plan for divesting from the largest 200 fossil fuel companies within 5 years. The Cambridge City Council voted unanimously to recommend that the city’s retirement board pull its investments out of the fossil fuel industry; and

WHEREAS, Three colleges in Greater New England – Unity College in Maine, Hampshire College in Massachusetts, and Sterling College in Vermont – have divested their portfolios of fossil fuel stocks and several churches, including the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ, have declared their intention to divest from fossil fuel companies; NOW THEREFORE BE IT

ORDERED, The Boston City Council, hereby assembled, orders a hearing to explore the feasibility of Fossil Fuel Divestment as a means of strengthening the City of Boston’s efforts to promote environmental awareness and continue reducing the City’s greenhouse gas emissions. Representatives from the City of Boston Administration and Finance Department, City of Boston Environmental Department, Mother’s Out Front on Climate Change,, relevant non-profit organizations, and other interested parties shall be invited to attend.

Filed July 03, 2013