Quantcast

London and New York Mayors Call on Other World Cities to Divest from Fossil Fuels

Politics
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and London Mayor Sadiq Khan at a forum on Sept. 18, 2016. Michael Appleton / Mayoral Photography Office

As regional, state, city and business leaders head to San Francisco for the Global Climate Action Summit Wednesday, New York City and London are stepping up as urban leaders on climate change.

In a joint statement published in The Guardian on Monday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and London Mayor Sadiq Khan urged cities around the world to join them in divesting from fossil fuels.


"London and New York are two of the world's most dynamic, innovative and forward-thinking cities, and we are determined to push ahead with the goals of the Paris agreement–stealing a march on many national governments," the mayors wrote.

The mayors said that cities could take climate action in many ways, from improving the carbon footprint of transportation networks and buildings to making the switch to renewable energy, but that it was important that they use their economic power as well.

"We believe that ending institutional investment in companies that extract fossil fuels and contribute directly to climate change can help send a very powerful message that renewables and low-carbon options are the future," they wrote.

The London Pension Fund Authority currently has less than two percent of its investments in fossil fuels. The authority shed £700,000 in fossil fuel investments this year, including in Shell and BP, and intends to divest from the rest of its fossil-fuel holdings, according to the letter.

New York City announced in January that it would divest its pension fund from fossil fuels. It will remove $5 billion from more than 190 companies.

The cities aren't just issuing a single call—they are also working to coordinate the action it inspires.

They will co-chair the Cities Divest/Invest forum as part of the C40 Climate Leadership Group, helping cities share divestment experiences and knowledge, and advocating for divestment from greenhouse gas-emitting fuels and investment in clean energy.

In introducing their action call, the two mayors cited the unusual weather that has impacted both of their cities this summer.

"This summer it seemed as if our two cities had changed places. London was hot and dry while New York had days and days of rain," the letter began.

The mayors noted that climate change makes heat waves, frequent flooding and severe hurricanes more likely.

In 2012, Hurricane Sandy struck New York City, causing the city $19 billion in losses, according to CNN, and prompting Bloomberg News to run the headline "It's Global Warming, Stupid."

The letter didn't mention the storm by name, but its legacy was evident in its urgency.

"It's clear that what we think of now as freak weather in our cities is likely to become the new normal, and that climate change poses a huge threat to the futures of our children, and many generations to come," de Blasio and Khan wrote.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Natural Resources Defense Council

By Emily Deanne

Shower shoes? Check. Extra-long sheets? Yep. Energy efficiency checklist? No worries — we've got you covered there. If you're one of the nation's 12.1 million full-time undergraduate college students, you no doubt have a lot to keep in mind as you head off to school. If you're reading this, climate change is probably one of them, and with one-third of students choosing to live on campus, dorm life can have a big impact on the health of our planet. In fact, the annual energy use of one typical dormitory room can generate as much greenhouse gas pollution as the tailpipe emissions of a car driven more than 156,000 miles.

Read More Show Less
Kokia drynarioides, commonly known as Hawaiian tree cotton, is a critically endangered species of flowering plant that is endemic to the Big Island of Hawaii. David Eickhoff / Wikipedia

By Lorraine Chow

Kokia drynarioides is a small but significant flowering tree endemic to Hawaii's dry forests. Native Hawaiians used its large, scarlet flowers to make lei. Its sap was used as dye for ropes and nets. Its bark was used medicinally to treat thrush.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Frederick Bass / Getty Images

States that invest heavily in renewable energy will generate billions of dollars in health benefits in the next decade instead of spending billions to take care of people getting sick from air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels, according to a new study from MIT and reported on by The Verge.

Read More Show Less
Aerial view of lava flows from the eruption of volcano Kilauea on Hawaii, May 2018. Frizi / iStock / Getty Images

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could be gearing up for an eruption after a pond of water was discovered inside its summit crater for the first time in recorded history, according to the AP.

Read More Show Less
A couple works in their organic garden. kupicoo / E+ / Getty Images

By Kristin Ohlson

From where I stand inside the South Dakota cornfield I was visiting with entomologist and former USDA scientist Jonathan Lundgren, all the human-inflicted traumas to Earth seem far away. It isn't just that the corn is as high as an elephant's eye — are people singing that song again? — but that the field burgeons and buzzes and chirps with all sorts of other life, too.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A competitor in action during the Drambuie World Ice Golf Championships in Uummannaq, Greenland on April 9, 2001. Michael Steele / Allsport / Getty Images

Greenland is open for business, but it's not for sale, Greenland's foreign minister Ane Lone Bagger told Reuters after hearing that President Donald Trump asked his advisers about the feasibility of buying the world's largest island.

Read More Show Less
AFP / Getty Images / S. Platt

Humanity faced its hottest month in at least 140 years in July, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said on Thursday. The finding confirms similar analysis provided by its EU counterparts.

Read More Show Less
Newly established oil palm plantation in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay

By Hans Nicholas Jong

Indonesia's president has made permanent a temporary moratorium on forest-clearing permits for plantations and logging.

It's a policy the government says has proven effective in curtailing deforestation, but whose apparent gains have been criticized by environmental activists as mere "propaganda."

Read More Show Less