12 cities around the world pledge divestment from fossil fuel


Protesters with caricature heads of German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and Economy and Energy Minister Peter Altmaier demonstrate in front of the German federal Chancellery against delays in phasing out coal energy in the country, on January 29, 2020 in Berlin, Germany.

BERLIN — 10 cities around the world on Tuesday joined New York and London in committing to divest from fossil fuel companies as part of efforts to combat climate change.

Berlin, Cape Town, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Oslo and others pledged to take “all possible steps to divest city assets from fossil fuel companies and (increase) financial investments in climate solutions.”

The cities that have a total of 36 million residents — which also include Bristol, Durban, Milan, Pittsburgh and Vancouver — said they will ensure that pension funds and other public money will be invested in “a green and just recovery from Covid-19.”

Environmental campaigners and top officials such as U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres have warned that trillions being spent by governments to stimulate pandemic-wracked economies should not be used to subsidize fossil fuel companies, which could jeopardize efforts to tackle another global crisis: climate change.

Berlin Mayor Michael Mueller expressed hope that the cities’ decision to pull out of “climate-damaging and ethically problematic investment strategies” would send a political signal to other investors to do the same.

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