Does your city have an investment fund? Do city workers have a pension? The chances are that you answered yes to both of these questions. It is also likely that at least some of those investment dollars are tied up in the fossil fuel industry. One way to make a statement of support for climate action is to simply rearrange where your city’s investment dollars go.
The divestment movement has been used successfully in the past as a means of prompting change by targeting a commodity valued by multiple sectors. In a word, money. Throughout the United States, universities have been on the forefront of the divestment movement in their effort to adjust investment strategies regarding climate change. By reshuffling investments, endowments, and funds away from fossil fuel companies, universities are making a powerful statement about their values, with a powerful tool, money.
Cities are now adopting this strategy. Mayor Frank Jensen of Copenhagen, put it best: “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.” And other cities are following suit.
A growing number of cities are reevaluating how they can make a difference on climate, and divestment offers a clear step in the right direction. To find out more about collaborating with city and community leaders, check out the resources and join Path to Positive Communities!
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.”
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