A shift in finance will support transition to 100% renewable energy

Mayor Charlie Hales of Portland, Oregon available for interviews at COP21

Paris — A group of Mayors from around the world issued a letter today calling on other cities to divest from fossil fuels in order to support the transition away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy.

The letter includes the mayors of: Portland, Oregon; Bristol City, UK; Moreland City, Australia; Boxtel, the Netherlands; Santa Monica, California; and more.

“Mayors have a vital role to play in the transition to a new energy economy. It is time we invest in supporting our communities instead of destroying our climate. Please join us and divest from fossil fuels,” wrote a group of mayors.

In 2013, Seattle became the first city to commit to divesting, followed by Canberra, the first national capital to join the movement. A growing number of cities and local governments have joined the divestment campaign in the lead up to the Paris Climate Talks.

“Cities know firsthand the problems brought about by fossil fuels, from urban air pollution to rising seas,” said 350.org Executive Director, May Boeve. “They’re also seeing the opportunity for reinvestment–the money they take out of companies like ExxonMobil can be then invested in companies that are creating green jobs in their community. These cities are helping move the divest-invest discussion into the realm of public policy, setting an example for state and national governments as they do.”

On Wednesday, 350.org announced that 20 French cities, including Paris, Dijon, and Bordeaux, had endorsed fossil fuel divestment. In the last few months, major cities like Oslo, Melbourne, and Munster have also joined the campaign. Overall, more than 50 cities around the world have passed some form of divestment commitment, with many more campaigns underway. Total divestment commitments have surged to over 500 institutions representing $3.4 trillion in assets.

“In the lead up to the COP21 Climate Summit for Local Leaders in Paris, we, as concerned mayors and municipalities representatives, are calling on our colleagues to follow our steps and divest their city’s assets away from fossil fuels,” the Mayors wrote. “Through divestment, we have accelerated the transition to a sustainable future, we urge you to follow this path.”

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