22nd September 2020: 12 cities, representing over 36 million city residents, pledged to divest from fossil fuel companies and advocate for greater sustainable investment, as part of their commitment to accelerating a green and just recovery from COVID-19.
“The declaration sends a loud clear message to the fossil fuel industry. As we watch wildfires burn in the US and devastating floods in parts of Africa, we know that Fossil fuels are not a safe investment: the sector is too volatile to be the basis of a resilient economy. It is time to divest from fossil fuels and invest in more sustainable, resilient, and regenerative economic systems, based on renewable, accessible and just energy sources.“ May Boeve Executive Director of 350.org
“Divesting from Fossil Fuels, Investing in a Sustainable Future,” brings together mayors of some of the world’s most influential cities, including Berlin, Bristol, Cape Town, Durban, London, Los Angeles, Milan, New Orleans, New York City, Oslo, Pittsburgh, and Vancouver.
“Now is the time to divest from fossil fuel companies and undertake investment and policy change that prioritises public and planetary health, building back a more equal society and addressing this climate emergency.” Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio
The cities signing on to the new declaration commit to build momentum for fossil-free and sustainable investment by:
- Taking all possible steps to divest city assets from fossil fuel companies and increasing financial investments in climate solutions to help promote decent jobs and a just and green economy.
- Calling on pension funds to divest from fossil fuel companies and increasing financial investments in climate solutions to help promote decent jobs and a just and green economy.
- Advocating for fossil-free and sustainable finance by other investors and all levels of government, including by promoting the importance of strong, long-term climate policies and demanding greater transparency.
According to Energy Policy Tracker, more than $200 billion in COVID-19 recovery funds are being pledged to fossil fuels, even though risky investments in coal, oil, and gas are key drivers of the climate crisis. Continued investment in fossil fuels drives emissions that endanger the Paris Agreement goals, jeopardize efforts to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C, and threaten to keep economies dependent on dangerous carbon emitting industry, especially as governments determine preferred pathways to a COVID-19 recovery.
“The climate crisis requires a change in all sectors of the economy to ensure that today’s investments do not lock-in polluting technologies and carbon-intensive industries. Investments should instead support the solutions we need to avert climate breakdown, create good jobs, advance environmental justice, and support livable communities.” May Boeve Executive Director of 350.org
350.org is a grassroots climate change organisation and and a supporter of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. Around the world, C40 Cities connects 94 of the world’s greatest cities to take bold climate action, leading the way towards a healthier and more sustainable future. Representing 700+ million citizens and one quarter of the global economy, mayors of the C40 cities are committed to delivering on the most ambitious goals of the Paris Agreement at the local level, as well as to cleaning the air we breathe. The current chair of C40 is Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti; and three-term Mayor of New York City Michael R. Bloomberg serves as President of the Board. C40’s work is made possible by our three strategic funders: Bloomberg Philanthropies, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), and Realdania.
May Boeve is the Executive Director of 350.org, an international climate change campaign. 350.org‘s creative communications, organizing, and mass mobilizations strive to generate the sense of urgency required to tackle the climate crisis. Previously, May cofounded and helped lead the Step It Up 2007 campaign, and prior to that was active in the campus climate movement while a student at Middlebury College. May is the coauthor of Fight Global Warming Now. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.