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.

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pexels

By Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE

Eating healthy can help you lose weight and have more energy.

Read More Show Less
arinahabich / Stock / Getty Images

By Sydney Swanson

With April hopping along and Easter just around the corner, it's time for dyeing eggs (and inadvertently, dyeing hands.) It's easy to grab an egg-dyeing kit at the local supermarket or drug store, but those dye ingredients are not pretty.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Aerial of farmland and mountains near Seaward Kaikoura Range in New Zealand. David Wall Photo / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images Plus

By Jordan Davidson

New Zealand's pristine image as a haven of untouched forests and landscapes was tarnished this week by a brand new government report. The Environment Aotearoa 2019 painted a bleak image of the island nation's environment and its future prospects.

Read More Show Less
heshphoto / Image Source / Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

Eating even "moderate" amounts of red and processed meat increases the risk of colon cancer, according to a new study of nearly half a million adults in the United Kingdom.

Read More Show Less
The view from the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit, Michigan. Ken Lund / CC BY-SA 2.0

By Sierra Searcy

This week, progressive Democrats and youth advocates are launching a nationwide tour to win support for the Green New Deal. Though popular, the ambitious plan to tackle climate change has struggled to earn the endorsement of centrist Democrats in Rust Belt states like Michigan, the second stop on the tour.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Mike Taube / Getty Images

If you are looking for something to do this Easter weekend, why not visit your nearest national park? All sites run by the National Park Service (NPS) will be free Saturday, April 20 as this year's National Park Week kicks off, USA Today reported.

Read More Show Less
A new EPA rule on asbestos does not say anything about the asbestos currently in the environment. Bob Allen / Getty Images

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) passed a new rule on asbestos Wednesday that it says will "close the door" on new, unapproved uses. But public health advocates warn the rule could actually open the door to increased use of the carcinogenic fibrous material.

Read More Show Less
A mountain woodland caribou bull in the Muskwa-Kechika Wilderness area in northern British Columbia, Canada. John E Marriott / All Canada Photos / Getty Images

It's heartening, in the midst of the human-caused sixth mass extinction, to find good wildlife recovery news. As plant and animal species disappear faster than they have for millions of years, Russia's Siberian, or Amur, tigers are making a comeback. After falling to a low of just a few dozen in the mid-20th century, the tigers now number around 500, with close to 100 cubs — thanks to conservation measures that include habitat restoration and an illegal hunting crackdown.

Read More Show Less