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To: the Somerville Retirement Board

Divest Somerville, Massachusetts from Fossil Fuels!

Divest Somerville, Massachusetts from Fossil Fuels!

The undersigned residents of Somerville ask the members of the Somerville Retirement Board to divest our City's pension funds from fossil fuel companies.

To avoid catastrophic climate change, the world must reduce and ultimately eliminate our use of fossil fuels: a recent report by the Carbon Tracker Initiative has shown that at least 80% of the currently known fossil fuel deposits in the world must be left in the ground to stay within the global consensus on acceptable climate change.

Somerville has shown itself to be a leader on environmental issues. But to have investments in the fossil fuel industry is to participate in, and profit from, the destruction of our ecosystem.

The governments of cities around the country including Seattle, San Francisco, Portland, Madison, Providence, and our neighbors in Cambridge, have voted in support of divesting from fossil fuel companies. We believe that Somerville should continue to be a leader on these issues by joining them.

Specifically, we want the Somerville Retirement Board to immediately freeze any new investment in the top-200 publicly traded fossil fuel companies, 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?

Climate change is upon us, and Somerville, along with many surrounding communities, is now having to deal with the problems associated with it. As storms become more frequent and severe, it does not make sense for us to continue to fund corporations who are contributing directly to this problem.

Somerville has already taken steps to fight climate change. By divesting from the fossil fuel industry, we can get to the root of the problem, and take a firm stance against fossil fuel extraction. The top 200 publicly-traded companies hold the vast majority of the world’s proven coal, oil and gas reserves. Our demands to these companies are simple, because they reflect the stark truth of climate science:

They need immediately to stop exploring for new hydrocarbons.

They need to stop lobbying in Washington and state capitols across the country to preserve their special breaks.

Most importantly, they need to pledge to keep 80% of their current reserves underground forever, since they currently have 5 times the reserves that we know is safe to burn.

Somerville, MA

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2015-01-04 21:24:25 -0500

500 signatures reached