Paris Makes Strides Towards Ditching Investments in Fossil Fuels

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Nicolas Haeringer, 350.org France Divestment Campaigner, nicolas@350.org, +33650861259
Melanie Mattauch, 350.org Europe Communications Coordinator, melanie@350.org, +4915158120184

Paris Makes Strides Towards Ditching Investments in Fossil Fuels

PARIS, France - Climate activists congratulate Paris City Council for announcing its support for divestment from fossil fuel companies and urge the host of this year’s international climate summit to now implement this recommendation into their investment policies.

The motion passed by the City Council recommends that the city’s newly created endowment fund should not invest in and refuse donations from fossil fuel companies, and that the council members’ pension fund phases out its investments in the sector.

In an open letter to the Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo published by French newspaper Le Monde today, award-winning author and activist Naomi Klein, co-founder of the climate group 350.org Bill McKibben and 350.org’s France divestment campaigner Nicolas Haeringer write:

“In a week when record winds shattered lives in Vanuatu and new data showed that the northern hemisphere had just come through the hottest winter in history, this bold move came as a welcome ray of sunshine.”

The open letter goes on to encourage the City of Paris to take a leadership role in municipal climate action by also calling on other cities to divest and demand the three main pension funds for public employees pull their investments from fossil fuels. The letter reads:

“In December, Paris will be at the center of the world’s attention. Tens of thousands of citizens will come to push for bold climate action. You should not miss this unique opportunity, but rather play your role in building this momentum.”

Since 80% of the fossil fuel industry’s reserves cannot be burnt to keep global warming below the 2°C mark [1], divestment campaigners argue that public investments in the industry are morally and financially unsound.

The fossil fuel divestment movement has grown rapidly around the world with influential actors like the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation, the British Medical Association, numerous universities, cities and other institutions pledging to pull their investments from oil, coal and gas. [2]

Paris could become the first capital city in the world to commit to divest from fossil fuels.

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350 is the red line for human beings, the most important number on the planet. The most recent science tells us that unless we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, we will cause huge and irreversible damage to the earth. But solutions exist. All around the world, a movement is building to take on the climate crisis, to get humanity out of the danger zone and below 350. This movement is massive, it is diverse, and it is visionary. We are activists, scholars, and scientists. We are leaders in our businesses, our churches, our governments, and our schools. We are clean energy advocates, forward-thinking politicians, and fearless revolutionaries. And we are united around the world, driven to make our planet livable for all who come after us.

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