A group of mayors from around the world issued a letter this week calling on other cities to divest from fossil fuels in order to support the transition to renewable energy.
The letter contains signatures from 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,” the letter states.
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 Dec. 3, 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.”
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