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C40 Divest/Invest Forum launched to encourage fossil fuel divestment

Posted: 12 September 2018 | | No comments yet

Sharing knowledge and best practices will help increase the number of cities committed to explore divesting from fossil fuels.

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As major cities around the world make pledges to abandon millions in fossil fuel stocks and bonds, C40 Cities, in partnership with London and New York City, have launched the C40 Divest/Invest Forum, a first-of-its-kind initiative to help urban leaders make the leap to effective and efficient divestment and accelerate green investment.

The C40 Divest/Invest Forum is based on C40’s model of peer-to-peer learning and will connect cities inside and outside the C40 network, including Paris, San Jose, San Francisco and Oslo. This will enable leaders to share best practices, knowledge and tools proven to accelerate divestment.

The forum will be an important platform for cities interested in exploring divestment for the first time, supplying the opportunity to learn from others who have successfully taken action. Drawing upon the expertise of city leaders and outside financial consultants, the Divest/Invest Forum will also examine how cities can engage with pension funds and asset managers to drive more sustainable investment at local and national level.   

Bill de Blasio, Mayor of New York City, said: “As the first major U.S. city to divest from fossil fuels, we are proud to offer our expertise to other cities around the world interested in eliminating their fossil fuel holdings. Together we will send a powerful message that renewable energy, not polluting fossil fuels, can help us build a more equitable future.”

With cities accounting for more than 70 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions responsible for global climate change, mayors and city leaders have realised the urgent need to make urban life greener. While demand for more sustainable services, such as emission-free transport and energy efficient buildings, is higher than ever before, many cities are unable to obtain the capital needed to develop and finance these innovative projects. Divestment from fossil fuels allows urban leaders the chance to recalibrate their investment strategies and reprioritise sustainable solutions that fit the needs of city residents.

“Climate change knows no borders and collective action around the world is needed to tackle its most harmful effects,” said Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London. “By working together with cities around the world and using our collective economic power we can take great strides forward in divesting from fossil fuels – and collaborating in this way sends a clear message that making green, sustainable investments makes both economic and environmental sense.”

Funded by the Wallace Global Fund and the Climate Change Collaboration, an initiative of Ashden Trust, Mark Leonard Trust, and JJ Charitable Trust, the forum will play a critical role in supporting the future of city climate leadership and demonstrating how cities are crucial contributors to a cleaner, greener future.

“Investment strategies of the past are not conducive to the sustainable future that cities around the world are so diligently working towards,” said Mark Watts, Executive Director, C40 Cities. “Divestment from fossil fuels offers a golden opportunity for cities to create innovative solutions to some of their pressing challenges. From transportation to air pollution to energy efficiency, there are so many areas where cities can do better by their citizens and sustainable investment is the key to making these solutions a reality.”

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