Cities join forces in an unprecedented global coalition dedicated to helping cities address investments in fossil fuels and support climate solutions.
London, New York City, San Francisco — Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City and Mayor Sadiq Khan of London published an oped on Monday challenging every city in the world to divest from fossil fuels. To drive the effort forward, the mayors are partnering with the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group to launch an innovative global coalition dedicated to support cities divesting from the fossil fuel industry and investing in climate solutions.
“This unprecedented coalition represents a major milestone for the fossil fuel divestment movement,” said May Boeve, the Executive Director of 350.org. “Two of the world’s financial capitals challenging every other city to divest will create a shockwave that is felt around the world. An effort that began on a handful of university campuses has now grown to include the centers of the global economy. The world is beginning to turn away from fossil fuels and not a moment too soon.”
“New York and London are the two biggest financial markets on earth. The smart money has figured out where the future lies,” said Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org.
The Divest/Invest forum is being convened by Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City and Mayor Sadiq Khan of London and includes some of the world’s most iconic cities, such as Paris, San Francisco, San Jose, Pittsburgh and Oslo. The launch of the forum was timed to coincide with Saturday’s major Rise for Climate mobilizations around the world, which saw hundreds of thousands participating in over 900 actions and rallies in 95+ countries, and this week’s Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco.
“We believe that ending institutional investment in companies that extract fossil fuels and contribute directly to climate change can help send a very powerful message that renewables and low-carbon options are the future,” wrote Mayor de Blasio and Mayor Khan in the Guardian.
New York City committed to divest its $190 billion pension funds from fossil fuels from in January and announced it was suing major oil companies for climate damages Over the last two years Mayor Khan has been working with the London Pension Fund Authority to take steps to divest its remaining investments in fossil-fuel industries. He is also calling on and working with local authorities across the capital to follow suit and take their pension funds out of companies that can damage the planet and lead to climate change.
Chelsea Edwards of Divest London, a citizen’s group that has been campaigning for London to divest, commented: “We support mayor Sadiq Khan’s call for cities across the world to divest today and we look forward to a strong divestment commitment from London in the weeks to come.”
The Divest/Invest forum is the first effort of its kind dedicated to helping cities’ funds address their climate footprint and is a significant step forward for the global fossil fuel divestment campaign. Later on Monday, at a press conference in San Francisco, groups supporting the divestment campaign will release a report highlighting the latest tally of divestment commitments and challenge all institutional investors to ditch their fossil fuel stocks by 2020 at the latest.