Imagine if a city like New York City decided to get rid of five billion US dollars of fossil fuel related stocks in their $189 billion dollar pension fund that pays to retired city workers and school teachers. That’s exactly what they are doing over the next five years as well as suing those oil and gas companies for complicit involvement in global warming.
As reported in the The Guardian New York’s divestment may persuade other cities to divest in fossil fuels and “build momentum in the global shift required to reduce emissions and stave off the worst consequences of climate change.”
“This is a really big deal,” said Jeffrey Sachs, an economist at New York’s Columbia University and special adviser to the UN secretary-general. “Pension funds of other major US cities will follow, I think. New York is the neighborhood of the very big money managers. It’s a powerful, personal signal to them that they cannot keep funding the sorts of projects they have in the past.” Other cities including Paris, Berlin, Sydney and Stockholm are also committed to getting rid of fossil fuel stocks. In fact with groups like the Norwegian central bank, Oxford University and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund as much as 6 Trillion dollars of divestment may happen.
While right-wing groups see such a plan to divest fossil fuel stocks as not a good faith way to create change, Mayor deBlasio of New York City states he is doing this for future generations. But will this divestment and boycott be enough to impact the oil and gas companies? And how will they adjust to lowering civic demands for their products and their stocks?
January 15, 2018