Encourage Your City to Divest from Fossil Fuels
Climate Change is affecting our cities.
A warming world can intensify storms, lengthen drought, and put public health at risk:
- Earth’s average temperature has risen by 1.4°F in the past 100 years[i] The decade from 2000 to 2010 was the warmest on record[ii] Recent estimates show global sea levels rising more than 3 meters.
- 2013 was one of the hottest overall years in the past century. It is further evidence of a long term heating trend. http://climate.nasa.gov/news/1029
- Higher heat means more public health risks like the 2010 heat wave that killed > 50,000
- Bigger storms means more stress on already aging infrastructure
- Extreme weather events like Hurricane Sandy threaten to overwhelm local budgets
- Heat related deaths impact our local emergency services.
- Rising tides and flooding impact an already failing local government infrastructure.
- The cost of local government Insurance premiums continue to rise pending the climate impacts on cities
- As long as cities stay invested in unsustainable forms of fuel there can be no serious change city transportation systems.
- Local governments typically invest at least some portion of their general funds, and often their pension funds in a mix of company holdings.
- Only 8.6% of energy consumed in the US is renewable.
- Clean energy investments are a growing market, and can be more profitable than fossil fuels-
It started on college campuses.
- As of May 2013, more than 400 U.S. campuses, have asked school endowments to withdraw their investments in the fossil fuel industry. “…By investing in fossil fuel companies, colleges are using their current financial resources in a way that jeopardizes the quality of life of their future alumni.”[i]
- East Bay Community Colleges vow to divest
- Cities are reviewing their investment portfolios and shifting investments away from fossil fuel companies and shifting towards investing in renewable energy.
- Over 11 major U.S. cities have already divested from fossil fuels
- More than two dozen cities across the nation are joining the effort
- The Mayors Innovation Project has taken a lead on this important topic. Sign the pledge
- Seattle’s Mayor launched a fossil fuel disinvestment campaign, directing that the City not invest and asks city pension funds to strip fossil fuels from their investments.
- The City of Santa Barbara encourages other institutions in Santa Barbara, to divest any and all investments and endowments in the fossil fuel industry
- The City of Brisbane passed a resolution to divest from fossil fuel companies and wrote to CalPERS to do the same.
Local Bay Area City Actions
- San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to divest over half a billion dollars
- The Santa Clara County Water District signed on to divest from fossil fuels and encouraged cities in its district to do the same.
- City of Berkeley passed a resolution asking CALPERS to disinvest from Fossil fuels
- City of Richmond passed resolution for City not invest in fossil fuel companies, and urging the board and management of the City’s pension funds to divest from publicly traded fossil fuel companies . See page 14;
- Contra Costa County Divestment Campaign
Will your city join the team?
- If your City hasn’t already joined in this vital effort, please find tools, resources, sample resolutions and more! http://gofossilfree.org/resources/
- Climate information and resources www.350.org
- FAQ at http://gofossilfree.org/faq/
- Start your own city divestment campaign at http://campaigns.gofossilfree.org/petitions/near/new?utf8=✓&category=fossil-fuel-divestment-cities-states
- Financial reasons to divest/reinvest at http://huff.to/1h5eqqX
Ways to make a difference.
- Draft a resolution asking CALPERs to immediately cease any new investments in fossil fuel companies or in commingled assets that include holdings in fossil fuel companies
- Develop a staff report that reviews your city’s investment portfolios
- Draft your own City Resolution, stating that you will not invest city funds in the Top 200 Fossil Fuel Companies http://gofossilfree.org/companies/
[i][i] U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – www.epa.gov/climatechange/basics
[ii] U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – www.epa.gov/climatechange/facts.html