Mayors Call for Fossil Fuel Divestment at COP 21

A group of Mayors from around the world issued the following letter at the Paris Climate Talks, calling on other cities to divest from fossil fuels in order to support the transition away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy:

Dear Fellow Mayors,

In conjunction with 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. During the COP21 climate talks, we shall demonstrate how local actors can be at the forefront in achieving global goals. Through divestment, we have accelerated the transition to a sustainable future, we urge you to follow this path.

Set against a backdrop of record breaking climatic extremes and weather events, investments in fossil fuels are a bet against the public’s well-being. Over the past years, climate change has caused serious human, environmental and economic damage in our cities. We confront repetitive destructive floods, hurricanes, heat waves, which have caused billions of dollars in damage around the world along with serious environmental damage. We also bear the impacts of our continued reliance on fossil fuels, from the pollution of our air and water to the damage to public health.

The climate has changed. Not only atmospherically, but also politically, economically and socially. Science, ethics, and economics are intersecting to form a clear signal: it is time to divest from fossil fuels.

The divestment movement is exploding across universities, municipalities, pension funds, foundations, religious groups. Within the municipalities community, the early adopters have already begun a substantial movement to divest from fossil fuels. In 2013, Seattle became the first city to commit to divesting, followed by Canberra, the first national capital to join the movement. There are now over 500 institutions committed to fossil fuel divestment, a movement representing $3.4 trillion in assets under management. We call our fellow mayors and municipalities representatives to be leaders and divest from fossil fuels.

Here at the COP21 Climate talks, it is the time to set the next step and send a strong signal to national governments: If it is wrong to wreck the climate, it is wrong to invest in its destruction. Divestment models the kind of commitments we expect national governments to make in Paris: the transition away from fossil fuels is irreversible.

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.
Sincerely,

Mark Mark Buijs – Mayor of Boxtel, the Netherlands
Councilman Seth Yurdin, Providence, RI, USA
Kitty Piercy, Mayor of Eugene, Oregon, USA
George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol City, UK
Kevin McKeown, Mayor of Santa Monica, CA USA
Thomas Donegan, Chair, Board Of Selectmen, Provincetown, MA, USA
Brad Pettit, Mayor, City of Fremantle, Australia
Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, Mayor of the City of Melbourne, Australia
Charlie Hales, Mayor of Portland, Oregon, USA
Samantha Ratnam, Councilor, Moreland City Australia
Raymond Johansen, Governing Mayor of Oslo, Norway
Councillor Robert Dryden, Mayor of Cambridge, UK

For a press release on the announcement, click here.