Oslo Becomes First Capital City in the World to Divest From Fossil Fuels
The City of Oslo has, today, become the first capital city in the world to ban investments in fossil fuels, as it announced it will divest its $9 billion pension fund from coal, oil and gas companies.
Today's announcement follows a previous pledge in March to ban investment in coal.
Lan Marie Nguyen Berg, of the Green Party in Oslo said:
We are very happy to announce that Oslo will take responsibility for the climate, both through our own policies and our investments. The time for climate action is now, and the new city government will address climate change both locally and globally. The reduction in pollution will make the city even better to live in, and ensure that we take our global responsibility.
In June this year, the Norwegian Parliament also announced the country's Sovereign Wealth Fund—worth $900 billion—would sell off over $8 billion in coal investments.
Oslo's “brave decision" just weeks away from the UN climate talks in Paris has been welcomed by but national and international environmental groups.
Arild Hermstad of Norwegian environmental NGO Future in Our Hands said:
There's a strong symbolism when the capital city of our oil producing nation says 'no' to investing in fossil fuels. It shows that fossil fuels are history, and that shifting away from them, and to renewables, is the future. We expect and we encourage other oil producing countries to follow suit.
350.org Europe Team Leader Nicolò Wojewoda said:
Oslo sets an example for cities around the world and shows investors like the Norwegian pension fund that if you have committed to divest from coal, it's time to take the jump to divest from all fossil fuels now. If you want to see climate action, you can't continue investing in the coal, oil and gas companies that are ruining our climate.
Oslo joins a growing movement of 45 cities around the world that have committed to ban investments in coal, oil and gas companies.
Last month, a study showed that to date more than 400 institutions and 2,000 individuals from across 43 countries, and managing more than $2.6 trillion have pledged to ditch their holdings in fossil fuels.
As it becomes clear that large swathes of known fossil fuels must be left in the ground if the world is going to limit global temperature rise below the internationally agreed danger threshold of 2C, more and more institutions are pulling their funds out of these risky, dirty energy companies, and shifting their investments into fueling a renewable energy future.
What began as half a dozen college campuses in 2011, has grown to a global movement that is reaching right to the heart of the financial sector.
And the pressure is now on other to follow Oslo's suit as the fossil fuel divestment movement challenges more investors to commit to divest from fossil fuels in the lead-up to the climate negotiations in Paris.
Through this win and strong campaigns in London, Berlin, Amsterdam, Stockholm and many more cities, divestment is moving on to an even bigger stage—we hope that national governments in capital cities around the world will take notice, and start breaking their own links with the fossil fuel industry.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
By Alex McInturff, Christine Wilkinson and Wenjing Xu
What is the most common form of human infrastructure in the world? It may well be the fence. Recent estimates suggest that the total length of all fencing around the globe is 10 times greater than the total length of roads. If our planet's fences were stretched end to end, they would likely bridge the distance from Earth to the Sun multiple times.
Early advertisement for barbed wire fencing, 1880-1889. The advent of barbed wire dramatically changed ranching and land use in the American West by ending the open range system. Kansas Historical Society / CC BY-ND
The authors assembled a conservative data set of potential fence lines across the U.S. West. They calculated the nearest distance to any given fence to be less than 31 miles (50 kilometers), with a mean of about 2 miles (3.1 kilometers). McInturff et al,. 2020 / CC BY-ND
- 'This Is Not Like a Fence in a Backyard' — Trump's Border Wall vs ... ›
- New Border Wall Construction Threatens 8 Species With Extinction ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Climate change is making ancient Hopi farming nearly impossible, threatening not just the Tribe's staple food source, but a pillar of its culture and religion, the Arizona Republic reports.
- These Are the Challenges Facing India's Most Sacred River ... ›
- Oil Spill Causes 'Major Disaster' for Ganges River Dolphins ... ›
By Kenny Stancil
An expert panel of top international and environmental lawyers have begun working this month on a legal definition of "ecocide" with the goal of making mass ecological damage an enforceable international crime on par with war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.
- Are the Amazon Fires a Crime Against Humanity? - EcoWatch ›
- 'Her Work Will Live On': Climate Movement Mourns Loss of Ecocide ... ›
After ongoing pressure from environmental groups and Indigenous communities, Bank of America has said it will not finance any oil and gas exploration in the Arctic, making it the last major U.S. financial institution to do so.
- Bank of America Sponsors Polluted Air and Chicago Marathon ... ›
- Youth Activists Hit the Streets to Protest Bank of America - EcoWatch ›
- Environmental and Economic Justice Communities Target Bank of ... ›