Fossil Fuel Divestment: Cities & States

Of all the institutions that ought to be looking out for the public good, surely our local and state governments are foremost among them. They have a responsibility to divest from an industry that’s destroying our future, and reinvest in solutions to climate change.

Even as extreme weather events like Hurricane Sandy threaten to overwhelm local budgets, federal inaction to solve this crisis is all but stalled. We have the solutions, but we won’t see any political progress on the issue until we can weaken the power of the fossil fuel industry.

The bottom line is this: divestment is the only moral choice for governments that care about their citizens. Solving the climate crisis is the only practical choice for governments that care about their solvency.

City flag x
Find your local campaign

Your Location

Campaigns (53)

  • Divest Oshkosh from Fossil Fuels!
    “$674 billion is invested every year looking for new sources of fossil fuels. A new report warns that continuing to plough this money into fossil fuels could create stranded assets worth $6 trillion in a decade.” (Source: “Unburnable carbon 2013: Wasted capital and stranded assets,” http://www.carbontracker.org/wastedcapital. Accessed on April 20, 2013) “Annual investments of $674bn in the search for oil and gas could create a ‘carbon bubble’ of stranded assets if countries remain committed to meeting UN climate targets.” (Source: “Warning $674bn ‘carbon bubble’ will blow 2C climate target, http://www.rtcc.org/governments-warned-6tr-carbon-bubble-will-blow-2c-climate-target/. Accessed on April 20, 2013) Our local government has a responsibility to look out for public goods, so it should divest from an industry that’s bad our future, and reinvest in solutions to climate change. We can not count on the federal government, even as extreme weather events like the record rain fall in the Duluth area last Spring overwhelm local budgets. We have the solutions, but we won’t see any political progress on the issue until we can weaken the power of the fossil fuel industry. The bottom line is this: divestment is the only moral choice for governments that care about their citizens. Solving the climate crisis is the only practical choice for governments that care about their solvency. It's time to divest from fossil fuels now!
    14 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Steve Barney
  • Divest Charlotte from Fossil Fuels!
    Our local government has a responsibility to divest from an industry that’s destroying our future, and reinvest in solutions to climate change. We can not count on the federal government, even as extreme weather events threaten to overwhelm local budgets. We have the solutions, but we won’t see any political progress on the issue until we can weaken the power of the fossil fuel industry. The bottom line is this: divestment is the only moral choice for governments that care about their citizens. Solving the climate crisis is the only practical choice for governments that care about their solvency. It's time to divest from fossil fuels now!
    21 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Frank Lorch
  • Divest New Braunfels from Fossil Fuels!
    Our local government has a responsibility to divest from an industry that’s destroying our future, and reinvest in solutions to climate change. We can not count on the federal government, even as extreme weather events like the record rain fall in the Duluth area last Spring overwhelm local budgets. We have the solutions, but we won’t see any political progress on the issue until we can weaken the power of the fossil fuel industry. The bottom line is this: divestment is the only moral choice for governments that care about their citizens. Solving the climate crisis is the only practical choice for governments that care about their solvency. It's time to divest from fossil fuels now!
    17 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Ed Perry Picture
  • Divest the City of Los Angeles from Fossil Fuels!
    Today, March 22, 2013, Mayor Villagrossa is announcing that the City of Los Angeles will not receive any of its electrical power from coal by the year 2025. That is good news, but it alone is not a significant enough step to avoid the worsening climate catastrophe. From the acidization of the seas, to the recent droughts in the midwest, to super storms such as Sandy, to the streak of 336th consecutive months that global temperatures have risen above 20th century averages, our civilization is in peril and we must act, now! There is a movement, spearheaded by gofossilfree.org, on over 300 college and university campuses across the nation calling for fossil fuel divestment. Four schools have already commited to divest and more are sure to soon follow suit. Yet students cannot be the only ones leading the fight for a just and sustainable future, our local governments must join the phalanx confronting our would be destroyers, the fossil fuel corporations such as Exxon-Mobil, British Petrolium, and Shell. Our governments must recognize them as the most abhorrent villans in the ongoing tragedy of the commons. The City of Los Angeles must not profit from the devastation of its citizens, currently enduring ailments from cancer and asthma. The City of Los Angeles must divest its holdings from the 200 companies listed in the Carbon Tracker report "Unburnable Carbon." Divestment in Los Angeles is not without precedent. The boards of our public pension plans have addressed divestment from South African securities, tobacco stock, and the securities of firms conducting business in Sudan and Iran. The boards adopted a Sudan policy in March of 2007, a policy addressing social, political and human rights issues in May of 2007, and and Iran policy in April 2010. They are currently considering a divestment from firearms related securities. The suffering to human health and well-being caused by fossil fuel companies is in no way less noxious than the crimes of the entities from which Los Angeles has previously divested. Additionally, the divestment from fossil fuel stock is in accord with stated fiduciary duties and applies a "costlessness" standard. The bottom line is this: divestment is the only moral choice for governments that care about their citizens. Solving the climate crisis is the only practical choice for governments that care about their solvency. It's time to divest from fossil fuels now!
    564 of 600 Signatures
    Created by Peter Nichols
  • Divest the Denver Employees Retirement Plan from Fossil Fuels!
    The retirement fund for Denver public employees has a responsibility to divest from an industry that’s destroying our future, and reinvest in solutions to climate change. Denver and Colorado have been on the receiving end of many fossil fuel dirty extraction technologies: -- From the 1914 massacre of Ludlow's coal mining families; -- To the Project Rulison 1969 underground nuclear explosion intended to produce natural gas; -- To oil shale's Black Sunday in 1982 - when Exxon pulled out of the Colony project - which sent the state economy into recession for years; -- To the current fracking frenzy that has destroyed our citizens' health in Garfield, Weld, and other counties; -- To Suncor's Denver refinery, to which the Alberta tar sands are pipelined, and which is right now contaminating ground and surface water at the Confluence of Sand Creek and the South Platte River; The people of Colorado have suffered from all these fossil fuel tragedies, in the past and in the present. At the same time, Denver and Colorado has been on the forefront of green energy research and development, and home to scientists who continue to research and document our changing climate. We have the solutions to turn away from increasing carbon pollution, but we won’t see any political progress on the issue until we can weaken the power of the fossil fuel industry. The bottom line is this: divestment is the only moral choice for governments and governmental agencies, such as DERP, which is the guardian of Denver employees' pension funds. It is clear that in order to still have a world worth getting a pension for, we must quickly and decisively move as individuals, as a society, and as a world to use less fossil fuels. Continuing to invest in these companies, whose profit maximization only ensures our destruction, can no longer be seen as the action of a moral caretaker of our money. Solving the climate crisis is the only practical choice for governments that care about the future of their current and retired members. Unless we act now, by the time today's new hires retire in 2040, 27 years from now, the globe will have heated even more, the Arctic ice caps will be gone, and everyone will ask why DERP couldn't have helped stem the tide by divesting back in 2013. It's time to divest from fossil fuels now!
    71 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Brad Klafehn
  • Divest San Jose from Fossil Fuels!
    Our local government has a responsibility to divest from an industry that’s destroying our future, and reinvest in solutions to climate change. As evidence concerning the reality of climate change and the contribution of fossil fuel to climate change mounts, it is critical for citizens appeal to all levels of government to change their behavior. San Jose's divestment from fossil fuels is an important step in that direction. Why does the petition urge the pension boards to divest from fossil fuel? Like Oakland and San Francisco, San Jose has two kinds of investments. The City of San Jose holds one kind in its treasury and the City's two pension boards hold the other to finance the retirement of city employees. The pension boards are independent and the City Council cannot order them to divest. The bottom line is this: divestment is the only moral choice for governments that care about their citizens. Solving the climate crisis is the only practical choice for governments that care about their solvency. It's time to divest from fossil fuels now!
    196 of 200 Signatures
    Created by Allan Campbell
  • Washington: Divest from Fossil Fuels!
    Our children and their children will not be able to reverse global warming unless we stop investing in fossil fuel companies. Until we divest from fossil fuel companies they will continue exploring for new oil and coal and gas, even though we have more than enough now to cook the planet 5 times over. We can't safely burn more than a few years worth of fossil fuels at the rate we are going, and once enough people understand the science and connect the dots with droughts, fires, heat waves, storms, sea level rise, poverty and disease, water shortages, economic instability, war and famine, these companies won't make sense as a long-term financial investment anyway, much less as a moral one. We are investing in our own destruction. Our seniors will not want to retire on money held in fossil fuel companies when we see the growing impacts and suffering that we have caused through those companies.
    1,027 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Michael Foster Picture
  • Divest New York City from Fossil Fuels!
    Hurricane Sandy decimated the New York City area, causing $65 billion in damage, causing power outages, destroying homes and leaving a path of wreckage from the Rockaways to Riverside Park. It's time for NYC to stop investing our pension funds in oil, gas and coal, and go fossil free! We know that Sandy was fueled in part by Atlantic waters that were 5 degrees warmer than average, a result of human-induced climate change. Our city government is taking steps to make our city an example of low-carbon urban living, from painting bike lanes to mandating energy retrofits -- and much much more must be done. And yet, New York City's pension funds for city employees, teachers, police, firemen and school employees are all invested in coal, oil and gas companies that dump carbon into the atmosphere for free, and rig the political system so that they can continue to do so. If it is wrong to wreck the climate, then it is wrong to profit from that wreckage. After Hurricane Sandy, New York City should be a shining light in the fight to combat climate change -- to do that, it's pension funds must divest from fossil fuels. A report from the Carbon Tracker Initiative has claimed that the world can only burn 800 more gigatonnes of carbon equivalent and stay under the two degree Celsius limit. A recent analysis of the world's current fossil fuel reserves, drawing on research by Oil Change International, has shown that if the world were to burn all current fossil fuel resources, then it would burn 982 gigatonnes of carbon equivalent. This means that we can no longer develop and build fossil fuel infrastructure; the age of fossil fuels must end immediately, if we have any hope of staying under two degrees Celsius. Our pension funds must follow suit and knowing that there can be no world in which the fossil fuel companies persist, we call upon New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer to commit to immediately freeze all investments in fossil fuel companies and divest the pension funds from these companies within five years. Read more about the need to divest and end all fossil fuel infrastructure here https://newrepublic.com/article/136987/recalculating-climate-math Over 3000 people from New York City have signed petitions calling upon Comptroller Stringer to divest the New York City pension funds from all fossil fuel holdings. To get involved in the campaign, go to 350nyc.org
    4,362 of 5,000 Signatures
    Created by Nathan Schumer
  • Divest Portland from Fossil Fuels!
    Divestment from fossil fuel companies is a signal that the people of Portland are ready to take a stand for the good of the planet. If it is wrong to wreck the climate, then it is wrong to profit from that wreckage. Portland should be a shining light in the fight to combat climate change -- to do that, the city must freeze and divest from fossil fuels. One city divesting from these stocks and funds can help build the momentum as other local governments, colleges, universities and institutions shift away from fossil fuels. Together, we can send a signal that the fossil fuel companies' future value is in doubt, that the world is ready to shift to an economy powered by renewable energy. As a proudly progressive city, Portland should be leading this charge.
    1,169 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Kevin Fitzgerald
  • Divest Asheville from Fossil Fuels!
    The rapid pace of climate change has created a world in which we can no longer proceed with business as usual. The extreme corruption demonstrated by the fossil fuel industry is most evident in the Keystone XL pipeline project, which if approved by President Obama would tap into more potential carbon than we have ever had access to in the history of mankind. This would mean GAME OVER for the entire planet, as burning this amount of carbon would cause so much global warming that life as we know it would completely end. The only way to send a message to the fossil fuel industry is to change our financial relationship to them. As a city, we need to follow the lead of over 250 college campuses that are right now moving to divest themselves of all fossil fuel investments.
    153 of 200 Signatures
    Created by Rebecca Friedman Picture