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.

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Campaigns (53)

  • Cambridge
    Divest Cambridge Pension Fund from Fossil Fuels!
    The global climate crisis is harming individuals, families and communities around the world -- and that includes the citizens of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The crisis was created by, and is perpetuated by, the extraction of carbon deposits and their use as fossil fuels. The fossil fuel industry is literally destroying our planet. And it is wrong for civic institutions to profit from this destruction. The City of Cambridge, by making this bold statement, can play a true leadership role in turning our state and our nation away from global catastrophe and toward a just, healthy, and sustainable future.
    246 of 300 Signatures
    Created by Jim Recht
  • Divest the Maine Public Employees Retirement System from Fossil Fuels
    We the people of Maine take our state motto seriously: "Dirigo" ("I Lead"). From our first greenhouse gas emissions inventory in 1995 to the nation’s first statewide climate change law in 2003, Maine has been a leader in addressing climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Despite good initiatives by both public and private sectors in Maine, atmospheric CO2 and climate change are accelerating. Climate scientists say we have years, not decades, to stabilize CO2 and other greenhouse gases. Climate change is already having an impact on the people and natural resources of Maine, and those effects will only get more severe if we do not take further action now. The fossil fuel industry is not looking out for our welfare. They consume millions in federal subsidies, spend millions on candidates, lobbying, and climate denial campaigns to protect their interests, all while planning to dig up and burn enough fossil fuels to devastate the planet. We do not believe the public employees of the state wish to have pension security at the cost of the health and safety of the people of Maine. Fossil fuel investments no longer represent fiduciary responsibility. We believe there are socially responsible investments available to the Public Employees Retirement Fund that will provide more true security to the hard-working public servants of the State of Maine. Let us continue to Lead.
    1,041 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Read Brugger
  • Divest Vermont’s Retirement Funds From Fossil Fuels
    Vermonters are paying for climate change - recovery funds to repair our state from Irene’s destruction, lost revenue when Lake Champlain floods or when the ski season shrinks, impacts to our farmers and our agricultural industry. In Bill McKibben’s words, “Why would we pay tens of millions to try and recover from Irene and at the same time support those corporations making the next Irene inevitable?” Fossil fuel companies are a bad investment both for the planet and for our pocketbooks. We are witnessing the increasing impacts of a warming planet more and more consistently; in this last year alone our country experienced record-breaking heat, droughts, and hurricanes, which impacted hundreds of thousands of people and cost our country hundreds of billions of dollars. Experts agree that global warming will continue to accelerate and intensify these tragic disasters. The scientific consensus is clear and overwhelming; we cannot safely burn even half of global fossil-fuel reserves without dangerously warming the planet for several thousand years. Regarding the pocketbook, market analysts at HSBC have warned oil and gas majors, including BP, Shell and Statoil, that they could face a loss in market value of up to 60% should the international community stick to agreed emissions reduction targets. Their prediction is based on an ‘unburnable carbon’ scenario – a scenario where oil and gas falls to keep atmospheric concentration below 450ppm. The analysts argue that the oil market is still failing to think about a low carbon future – ‘because of its long-term nature, we doubt the market is pricing in the risk of a loss of value from this issue’.
    2,426 of 3,000 Signatures
    Created by Maeve McBride