Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

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

By Michael Svoboda

The enduring pandemic will make conventional forms of travel difficult if not impossible this summer. As a result, many will consider virtual alternatives for their vacations, including one of the oldest forms of virtual reality – books.

Read More Show Less
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility on Thursday accused NOAA of ignoring its own scientists' findings about the endangerment of the North Atlantic right whale. Lauren Packard / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Julia Conley

As the North Atlantic right whale was placed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's list of critically endangered species Thursday, environmental protection groups accusing the U.S. government of bowing to fishing and fossil fuel industry pressure to downplay the threat and failing to enact common-sense restrictions to protect the animals.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Beth Ann Mayer

Since even moderate-intensity workouts offer a slew of benefits, walking is a good choice for people looking to stay healthy.

Read More Show Less
Much of Eastern Oklahoma, including most of Tulsa, remains an Indian reservation, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday. JustTulsa / CC BY 2.0

Much of Eastern Oklahoma, including most of Tulsa, remains an Indian reservation, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.

Read More Show Less
The Firefly Watch project is among the options for aspiring citizen scientists to join. Mike Lewinski / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 2.0

By Tiffany Means

Summer and fall are great seasons to enjoy the outdoors. But if you're already spending extra time outside because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be out of ideas on how to make fresh-air activities feel special. Here are a few suggestions to keep both adults and children entertained and educated in the months ahead, many of which can be done from the comfort of one's home or backyard.

Read More Show Less
People sit at the bar of a restaurant in Austin, Texas, on June 26, 2020. Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered bars to be closed by noon on June 26 and for restaurants to be reduced to 50% occupancy. Coronavirus cases in Texas spiked after being one of the first states to begin reopening. SERGIO FLORES / AFP via Getty Images

The coronavirus may linger in the air in crowded indoor spaces, spreading from one person to the next, the World Health Organization acknowledged on Thursday, as The New York Times reported. The announcement came just days after 239 scientists wrote a letter urging the WHO to consider that the novel coronavirus is lingering in indoor spaces and infecting people, as EcoWatch reported.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A never-before-documented frog species has been discovered in the Peruvian highlands and named Phrynopus remotum. Germán Chávez

By Angela Nicoletti

The eastern slopes of the Andes Mountains in central Perú are among the most remote places in the world.

Read More Show Less