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Mayors for divestment

Mayors of New York and London urge every major city in the world to divest
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
Mayors for divestment

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio have today (07 Jan) urged fellow mayors of the world’s leading cities to join them in divesting their city pension funds from fossil fuel assets, to help avert climate breakdown.

The call to action from Mayors Khan and de Blasio came as they unveiled a toolkit for other cities considering divestment.

A divestment toolkit

The new guide, ‘Divesting from Fossil Fuels, Investing in Our Future: A Toolkit for Cities’, sets out a clear pathway for cities on how to divest from fossil fuels and increase sustainable investments.

It is a product of the C40 global initiative on Divest/Invest, chaired by London and New York City, which was launched by Mayor Khan and Mayor de Blasio in September 2018.

‘Over the last three years, London has led from the front on divesting from fossil fuels and addressing the climate emergency. At City Hall, I am working with the London Pensions Fund Authority to take all possible steps to divest its remaining investments in fossil fuel industries.

‘I have also encouraged local authorities and organisations in London to do the same. However, we need all cities to act now to help protect our planet for future generations. So, together with New York and C40, I’m calling on every major city in the world to follow suit. This toolkit will demonstrate to other cities that taking action on divestment is not only achievable but also essential to investing in our future.’

Mayor of London

Divestment case studies

‘Divesting from Fossil Fuels, Investing in Our Future: A Toolkit for Cities’ features an array of case studies from cities around the world that have already committed to ambitious divestment and sustainable investment action, including London, New York, Melbourne, Berlin and Stockholm.

The toolkit reveals that none of the city pension funds that have already divested from fossil fuel assets report having suffered a negative impact on portfolio performance – and some have seen better performance from their fossil-fuel free investments.

‘Thanks to C40 and leading city mayors like Sadiq Khan and Bill de Blasio, divestment has become a standard – and crucial – part of the toolkit for taking on the climate crisis. It makes no sense – morally, practically, or financially – to invest in the industries endangering our cities. And on the list of actions humans will have to take to deal with the planet’s heating, it combines relatively low cost and effort with remarkably high leverage. Instead of having to move cities, let’s move money!’


Almost every city anywhere in the world can support the Divest/Invest movement, the toolkit concludes. Such action can include divesting municipal investments or working with the city or regional pension fund to divest and increase sustainable investments.

Cities also have an important role to play, the report says, to call on other financial institutions, such as private investors, to decarbonise their portfolios and stop their support for the fossil fuel industry.

‘With New York City’s Green New Deal, we are leading the nation in fighting the political power and corporate money of the fossil fuel industry. We are proud to join with London and C40 Cities to offer our expertise in how to invest in the future of our planet. These are not easy steps, but they are absolutely necessary.’

Mayor of New York City

First of its kind

This new guide was prepared as part of the C40 Divest/Invest Forum. Launched in close partnership with London and New York City, it is a first-of-its-kind initiative that helps urban leaders make the leap to effective and efficient divestment and accelerate green investment.

The Forum has 14 participating cities to date, including the latest joiners Auckland, Melbourne and Stockholm.

From 16-18 March 2020, city leaders will come together in New York City to share their progress and experience in divesting from fossil fuel companies and increasing investment in climate solutions.

Click here to read our article about climate action in Manchester.

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