On Monday Mayor Michelle Wu signed a city ordinance proposed by City Councilors Lydia Edwards and Matt O’Malley to divest city funds from fossil fuels.
The ordinance requires the city’s collector-treasurer to divest city funds out of “stocks, securities or other obligations of any company which derives more than 15% percent of its revenue from the combustion, distribution, extraction, manufacture, or sale of fossil fuels, which shall include coal, oil and gas, or fossil fuel products.”
“The climate crisis requires us to take immediate steps toward a cleaner and more sustainable future,” said Councilor Edwards. “Boston has led on divestment in the past when we divested from apartheid era South Africa. We know it’s a strategy that works. With this ordinance Boston will once again take the lead and move toward climate resiliency. I’m grateful for the partnership of Mayor Wu and Councilor O’Malley on this proposal and for their continued leadership on climate issues.”
The ordinance also requires that the city divest its funds from private companies that operate or maintain carceral facilities. The ordinance would apply to approximately $1.3 billion.
“The City of Boston continues to lead on environmental, economic and social justice issues. With the passage of this ordinance, we are headed another step closer toward a more resilient city,” said Councilor O’Malley. “Through codifying our values through this ordinance, we are demonstrating our commitment to addressing global climate change and its impacts on our city for future generations to come.”
The ordinance unanimously passed the City Council last week and builds on Wu’s commitment to growing a low-carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive economy in Boston. “It’s so important for every bit of leverage that we have to be put towards making sure we’re addressing our climate crisis,” said Mayor Wu. “I’m excited to be able to take the pen to a piece of legislation that I’ve been working on for many years on the Council with community advocates and colleagues to say the City of Boston is going to step up and do our part and push for urgency on the issue.”