Mayors of New York and London Urge Every Major City in the World to Divest
Sadiq Khan and Bill de Blasio issue joint call as they unveil a toolkit for other cities considering divestment.
Case studies from Berlin, London, Oslo and Stockholm reveal that none of the divested city pension funds have suffered a negative impact on portfolio performance.
City leaders will come together in New York City in March 2020 to share progress and discuss next steps for the city-led Divest/Invest movement.
London, UK (07 January 2020) — Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio have today urged fellow mayors of the world’s leading cities to join them in divesting their city pension funds from fossil fuel assets, to help avert climate breakdown. The call to action from Mayors Khan and de Blasio came as they unveiled a toolkit for other cities considering divestment. The new guide “Divesting from Fossil Fuels, Investing in Our Future: A Toolkit for Cities” sets out a clear pathway for cities on how to divest from fossil fuels and increase sustainable investments and is a product of the C40 global initiative on Divest/Invest chaired by London and New York City, launched by Mayor Khan and Mayor de Blasio in September 2018.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “Over the last three years, London has led from the front on divesting from fossil fuels and addressing the climate emergency. At City Hall, I am working with the London Pensions Fund Authority to take all possible steps to divest its remaining investments in fossil fuel industries.
I have also encouraged local authorities and organisations in London to do the same. However, we need all cities to act now to help protect our planet for future generations. So, together with New York and C40, I’m calling on every major city in the world to follow suit. This toolkit will demonstrate to other cities that taking action on divestment is not only achievable but also essential to investing in our future.”
Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio said: “With New York City’s Green New Deal, we are leading the nation in fighting the political power and corporate money of the fossil fuel industry. We are proud to join with London and C40 Cities to offer our expertise in how to invest in the future of our planet. These are not easy steps, but they are absolutely necessary.”
Bill McKibben said: "Thanks to C40 and leading city mayors like Sadiq Khan and Bill de Blasio, divestment has become a standard - and crucial - part of the toolkit for taking on the climate crisis. It makes no sense - morally, practically, or financially - to invest in the industries endangering our cities. And on the list of actions humans will have to take to deal with the planet's heating, it combines relatively low cost and effort with remarkably high leverage. Instead of having to move cities, let's move money!"
Divesting from Fossil Fuels, Investing in Our Future: A Toolkit for Cities features an array of case studies from cities around the world that have already committed to ambitious divestment and sustainable investment action, including London, New York, Melbourne, Berlin and Stockholm.
The toolkit reveals that none of the city pension funds that have already divested from fossil fuel assets report having suffered a negative impact on portfolio performance and some have seen better performance from their fossil-fuel free investments.
Almost every city anywhere in the world can support the Divest/Invest movement, the toolkit concludes. Such action can include divesting municipal investments or working with the city or regional pension fund to divest and increase sustainable investments. Cities also have an important role to play, the report says, to call on other financial institutions, such as private investors, to decarbonise their portfolios and stop their support for the fossil fuel industry.
This new guide was prepared as part of the C40 Divest/Invest Forum. Launched in close partnership with London and New York City, it is a first-of-its-kind initiative that helps urban leaders make the leap to effective and efficient divestment and accelerate green investment. The Forum has fourteen participating cities to date, including the latest joiners Auckland, Melbourne and Stockholm. From 16-18 March 2020, city leaders will come together in New York City to share their progress and experience in divesting from fossil fuel companies and increasing investment in climate solutions.
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C40 Divest/Invest Toolkit: Divesting from Fossil Fuels, Investing in Our Future: A Toolkit For Cities is accessible here.
The London Pensions Fund Authority’s investments in direct extractive fossil fuel is now just £13.6m or 0.2% of its £6.459bn of assets under management. The Fund is also undertaking analysis on how its portfolio aligns with the 1.5C goal of the Paris Agreement for early 2020.
About New York City
As part of OneNYC 2050, New York City’s Green New Deal, the City is confronting our climate crisis, achieving equity, and strengthening our democracy. As part of that work to secure a livable future for the next generation, New York City has committed to divest its pension funds from fossil fuel reserve owners by 2022 and double investments into climate solutions from $2 billion to $4 billion by 2021.
About the C40 Divest/Invest Forum
The C40 Divest/Invest Forum is a first-of-its-kind initiative to help urban leaders make the leap to effective and efficient divestment and accelerate green investment. Launched in close partnership with London and New York City, the Forum is designed to support cities and their pension funds in developing and delivering Divest/Invest strategies. Besides the lead cities London and New York City, the cities of Auckland, Boston, Cape Town, Copenhagen, Durban, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Oslo, Paris, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Stockholm are involved to date. Joining is open to any city, non-regarding of whether they have yet made a commitment to divest.
From 16-18 March 2020, the C40 Divest/Invest Forum will hold its second convening in New York City to bring together cities to share best practice on portfolio decarbonisation. Following a public event on 16 March, involving high-level speakers from city leadership and the investment industry, cities and their pension funds will have the opportunity to discuss strategies for fossil fuel divestment and sustainable investment in a closed-door city workshop.
The Forum is supported by Wallace Global Fund, the Climate Change Collaboration - an initiative of Ashden Trust, Mark Leonard Trust, and JJ Charitable Trust – and Rockefeller Brothers Fund.