Berlin becomes 7th Western city to divest from fossil fuels
On Thursday 23 June, Berlin’s officials voted to divest the city’s $852.8 million public pension from coal, oil and gas companies.
Following Stockholm, which announced its divestment from fossil fuel on June 15, Berlin becomes the seventh major Western city to join a divestment movement that already includes Paris, Copenhagen, Oslo, Seattle, Portland and Melbourne.
As Christoph Meyer, an activist campaigning for the project Fossil Free Berlin with the environmental non-profit 350.org, puts it: “Berlin’s decision to blacklist fossil fuel companies is the latest victory for the divestment movement, which serves to remove the social license from companies whose business model pushes us into climate catastrophe.”
This decision comes after two years of tenacious campaign by the non-profit who intends to keep a close eye on the administration to make sure it upholds its commitment. Berlin is now looking for experts to support them in the implementation of this policy which is expected to start in January 2017.
To date, over 500 institutions have committed to stop investments in fossil fuel companies. This historical win in the German capital sets an example for other European capitals and institutions.
ICLEI strongly supports this decision and notably invited Bill McKibben, co-founder and Senior Advisor of 350.org, at the COP 21 pavillion to discuss how cities can collaborate with the divestment movement. ICLEI is also active in the Global 100% RE Campaign to facilitate and foster the progress towards 100% Renewable Energy among local governments around the globe. Divestment in fossil fuels is a condition to reach a 100%RE future and is an angle that will be explored as part of the activities of the 100%RE Cities and Regions Network.
Berlin, Brandenburger Tor © Dietmar Rabich, rabich.de, Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons
350.org co-founder and leader of the divestment movement, Bill McKibben, joins ICLEI in Paris at COP 21