Municipal Divestment Resolution

Sample municipal resolution regarding divestment from publicly-traded fossil fuel companies.

WHEREAS The climate crisis is a serious threat to current and future generations here in XXX and around the world; and

WHEREAS, Almost every government in the world has agreed through the 2009 Copenhagen Accord that any warming above a 2°C (3.6°F) rise would be unsafe; and

WHEREAS, For the purposes of this resolution, a “fossil fuel company” shall be defined as any of the two hundred publicly-traded companies with the largest coal, oil, and gas reserves as measured by the gigatons of carbon dioxide that would be emitted if those reserves were extracted and burned, as listed in the Carbon Tracker Initiative’s report:  http://carbontracker.live.kiln.it/Unburnable-Carbon-2-Web-Version.pdf; and

 WHEREAS, The Carbon Tracker Initiative found that fossil fuel companies possess proven fossil fuel reserves that would release approximately five times the amount of CO2 that can be released without exceeding 2°C of warming; and

 WHEREAS, Maine’s economy loses more than it gains from investments in the fossil fuel industry because our taxpayers are contributing millions of dollars each year to subsidize an industry whose jobs benefit other states, because we have paid for the environmental and health effects of the mid-western coal industry for decades, because we are already suffering climate-related increases in asthma and Lyme disease as well as damage to our fisheries due to ocean acidification; and

 WHEREAS, Investors worldwide believe that governmental controls on carbon will leave the fossil fuel industry with stranded assets, which will result in a drastic loss in value of fossil fuel stocks; and

 WHEREAS The City of XXX has a responsibility to protect the lives and livelihoods of its inhabitants from the threat of climate change and the unhealthy, unsafe, and financially risky business practices of the fossil fuel industry;

 THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the City Council of XXX, commits to review XXX’s investment portfolio to identify any holdings that include direct or indirect investments in fossil fuel companies, to immediately cease any new investments in fossil fuel companies or in commingled assets that include holdings in fossil fuel companies, to ensure that none of its directly held or commingled assets include holdings in fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds within 5 years as determined by the Carbon Tracker list, and to release annual updates, available to the public, detailing progress made towards full divestment; and be it

 FURTHER RESOLVED, That the City Council of XXX, on behalf of their employee members of the Maine Public Employees Retirement System (MainePERS) and on behalf of their tax paying citizens who contribute to MainePERS, urges the Board of MainePERS to review their investment portfolio to identify any holdings that include direct or indirect investments in fossil fuel companies, to immediately cease any new investments in fossil fuel companies or in commingled assets that include holdings in fossil fuel companies; to ensure that none of its directly held or commingled assets include holdings in fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds within 5 years as determined by the Carbon Tracker list, and to release annual updates, available to the public, detailing progress made towards full divestment; and, be it

 FURTHER RESOLVED That the XXX City Council urges MainePERS to prepare a report regarding options for investing pension funds in a way that further maximizes positive environmental and economic impacts by seeking out investments including, but not limited to, clean technology and renewable energy, sustainable companies or projects, and sustainable communities; investments that, whenever possible, support local projects and local jobs.

 

Signed:                                                              Date: