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To: Lowell City Council

Divest Lowell From Fossil Fuels

Divest Lowell From Fossil Fuels

Lowell Citizens call on the City Council to direct the City’s Retirement Board and the City Treasurer to review their investment portfolios in order to identify any holdings that include direct or indirect investments in fossil fuel companies. City Council shall call on the Retirement Board and the City Treasurer to immediately cease and adopt policies precluding any new direct investments in fossil fuel companies, or indirect investments that include holdings in fossil fuel companies; and

The citizens of Lowell calls on the City Council to advise on divestment the Massachusetts Legislature, taking the actions to support the passage of legislation to divest the State of Massachusetts Pension Reserve Investment Trust Fund from fossil fuel investments; and

The Citizens of Lowell ask that the City Administrator is directed to forward a copy of this enacted Resolution to the Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board and the Lowell Retirement Board; to the Massachusetts Legislature: the Senate President, Speaker of the House, and the Lowell State Delegation; and the City Administrator is directed to forward a copy of this enacted Resolution to said legislators at the start of the 2015-2016 legislative session.

Why is this important?

Climate change poses a grave threat to the City of Lowell, its residents, and the whole planet; and

Some of the consequences of climate change include extreme weather and storms, sea level rise, melting of artic and glacial ice, the acidification of our oceans, community displacement, rising food and water shortages, corresponding property damage, and increased public health risks. Rising temperatures increase the moisture-holding potential of the atmosphere, leading to more volatile weather. Climate change has been linked to severe weather and storm events, such as Superstorm Sandy; and

Climate change affects the stability of Lowell’s future and its young people who will be the generation that will inherit the most devastating impacts of climate change in this century; and

The City of Lowell has already made a conscientious effort to implement green initiatives and support environmentally friendly lifestyles amongst its residents by establishing a Green Building Commission, including sustainability in its’ Master Plan, becoming a Massachusetts Green Community, by installing bike lanes, solar powered trash cans, electric vehicle charging stations, moving some of its vehicle fleet to more energy efficient modes, replacing its streetlights with LED bulbs, installing solar energy collectors on schools and other municipal buildings, instituting an energy aggregation plan and having weekly farmers markets; and

Lowell has an opportunity to be at the forefront of sustainable actions in the Merrimack Valley and beyond. Around the country and around the world, cities, communities of faith and institutions of higher learning are committing to divestment from fossil fuel companies.

Twelve Massachusetts cities and towns, Cambridge, Somerville, Framingham, Truro, Provincetown, Northampton, Amherst, Concord, Sudbury, Brookline, Springfield and (now) Boston; more than in any other state in the nation, have already passed resolutions encouraging and supporting state divestment of fossil fuels from retirement funds; and

Divestment has proven to be an effective strategy for stigmatizing unethical industries and institutions throughout our state’s history. Massachusetts was the first state to divest from South Africa in 1982, the first state in the nation to divest all state pension funds from tobacco companies in 1997. Massachusetts should continue this legacy of socially conscious investing; and

The continuous scientific and engineering advancements made in renewable energy, strain on natural resources, and demand for alternatives to fossil fuel could prove to be factors that will make investment in fossil fuels undesirable; and

The City of Lowell and Massachusetts should explore and grow strategies to invest its employees’ money in responsible industries and stocks that benefit, rather than harm its communities and future stability while still maximizing a return for retirees and pensioners; and

The City of Lowell and Massachusetts should look to investing in and expanding funding on programs and projects that benefit its environment, economy, and communities, which should include renewable energy, green jobs, and affordable housing and transportation, rather than remaining invested in fossil fuels;

How it will be delivered

We will deliver the signatures in person.

Lowell, MA, United States

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2016-05-19 10:15:43 -0400

25 signatures reached

2015-04-29 21:58:53 -0400

On June 27th, we are planning a day of action to call on Lowell City Council to divest from fossil fuels. Experts will speak on the importance of divestment, and how you can help us in this cause. The event will be held at Lucy Larcom Park in Downtown Lowell, MA at 11:30 AM.

2015-01-18 20:41:22 -0500

10 signatures reached

2015-01-08 17:51:13 -0500

In December, 350MA of Greater Lowell approached the Lowell City Council at a City Council meeting with a motion to divest Lowell from Fossil Fuels. A substitute motion was passed, calling for further research into the divestment matter. We plan to resubmit the motion at a City Council meeting in February.

We need your help to show that this motion has support, support that the City Council cannot ignore.