To: Richmond City Council
Divest Richmond from Fossil Fuels!
The city of Richmond, Virginia should immediately freeze any new investments in fossil fuels and divest from direct ownership and any commingled funds that include fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds within 5 years.
Why is this important?
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.
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 temperature below 2 degrees. 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’.
Fossil fuel companies are a bad investment both for the planet and for our pocketbooks, and Richmond can send a loud and clear message by divesting city funds from fossil fuels.