Washington, D.C. just became the latest city to take climate action by divesting from fossil fuels. The District of Columbia Retirement Board will sell off its direct investments in 200 of the most polluting oil, coal and gas companies. The decision to divest the city’s $6.4 billion pension fund from fossil fuels was the result of a three-year campaign by DC Divest, a citizens group calling on the city council to stop investing in companies that emit the greenhouse gases that cause climate change and reinvest in a sustainable climate-safe energy system.
“Time is up for the powers that be to act on climate change. If we’re going to take real action on climate change, we must take a hard stance against the fossil fuel industry,” said DC Divest spokesperson Matt Grason. “By divesting from fossil fuels, the nation’s capital has taken a critical step in creating the political will for climate action. Now it’s time for Congress to take note and pass comprehensive legislation to limit the carbon pollution driving climate change.”
The decision to divest from fossil fuels is the latest green initiative the nation’s capital has taken in an effort to make the city a leader in environmental sustainability. Washington, D.C. has committed to an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and Mayor Muriel Bowser recently signed a 20-year agreement to supply 35 percent of the city government’s electricity with wind power.
Related: Washington, DC Aims to Become the Greenest City in the Country
According to the 350.org project Fossil Free, 526 cities, universities, faith groups and other organizations with funds worth a collective $3.4 trillion have divested from fossil fuels. Cities that have committed to divesting from oil, coal and gas companies include Oslo, Copenhagen, Melbourne, Minneapolis, San Francisco and Seattle.
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Via DC Divest
Images via Good Free Photos and DC Divest