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Boston Divests from Fossil Fuels

With unanimous approval, newly sworn-in Boston Mayor, Michelle Wu, signed an ordinance to divest the city from fossil fuels. Under the ordinance, public funds cannot be invested in any company that receives more than 15% of its revenue from fossil fuels, tobacco products, or private prison industries.

The ordinance is expected to reduce investments within the fossil fuel industry by $65 million. As of Monday, Boston officials did not say whether current assets would be impacted.

During the signing ceremony, Wu stated, “This is deeply personal for many of us and urgent. My older son Blaise was born in the first year that I served in this building, and the first year that we started to hear it was the hottest year ever on record. Since then, his six years alive on this planet have each been our hottest on record.

Wu went on to say, “We’re moving quickly to make sure that Boston will set the tone for what is possible for that brightest greenest future for all of our kids.”

According to Wu, the goal is to distance Boston from fossil fuels that are a driving force behind climate change. Since Boston is a coastal city, climate change, if not addressed, is a direct threat.

Boston joins a growing number of cities and organizations that are looking to keep their investments green:

• The Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan recently said that they are focusing on green investments.
• Harvard University President Lawrence Bacow announced they will move away from fossil fuel investments.
• New York City officials announced that their two city work pensions funds will pull fossil fuel investments to focus on clean energy – which is about $4 billion worth of funds.
• Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board and Conservation International have partnered to invest in high-quality carbon offset projects.

As cities begin to look for ways to be a part of the climate change solution – net-zero goals seem more within reach. Per Senator Edward Markey, “What Boston represents here today is the future.”

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