Yesterday, Copenhagen’s finance committee agreed to move forward on a proposal by the mayor to divest the fossil fuel holdings of the city’s 6.9bn kroner (€920m) investment fund. Detailed proposals for implementation will now be developed and taken to Copenhagen Council for final decision.
Mayor Frank Jensen told the Danish newspaper Dagbladet Information:
“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.”
Danish divestment campaigner Thomas Meinert Larsen commented:
“Wind energy is breaking records in Denmark and we’re set to cover 80% of our energy needs for electricity and heating with renewable sources within the next four years. At the same time, we have evidence that fossil fuel companies have deliberately misled the public on climate change and lobby aggressively to prevent effective climate policies.”
“Against this backdrop, it’s clear that public money should no longer be going towards fossil fuel companies. The decision to stop investments in fossil fuels will put Copenhagen on the right side of history.”
Divestment is on the agenda in other capitals across Europe: Stockholm, Amsterdam and Berlin are currently reviewing their fossil fuel investments, while mayoral candidates in London are positioning themselves on the issue.
A growing number of cities 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. Overall, more than 500 institutions have made various forms of commitments to reduce their investments in fossil fuels.
Copenhagen’s mayor said he believed that more cities will stop investing in coal, oil and gas in the wake of the Paris climate agreement. The overwhelming majority of fossil fuel reserves will need to remain underground to meet the goals of the Paris agreement and avoid catastrophic climate change.