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Another Green Victory: Copenhagen Set to Divest from All Fossil Fuels

"Copenhagen is at the forefront of the world’s big cities in the green transition...Therefore it seems totally inappropriate for the city to still be investing in oil, coal and gas."

Windmills are visible in the Øresund strait in Copenhagen. (Photo: File)

The Copenhagen City Council on Tuesday is expected to approve a vote to divest the city's investment fund, worth 6.9 billion kroner, or roughly $1 billion USD, from all its fossil fuels holdings.

If the vote passes, the Danish capital will sell off its stocks and bonds in coal, oil, and gas in its continued effort to become "the world’s first CO2-neutral capital by 2025," Mayor Frank Jensen told local media.

The exact amount the city has invested in fossil fuels has not been made publicly available, but reporting indicates the divestment would cost approximately 1 million kroner in fees to execute.

"Copenhagen is at the forefront of the world’s big cities in the green transition... Therefore it seems totally inappropriate for the city to still be investing in oil, coal and gas," Jensen said. "We need to change that and I think this will sit will with Copenhageners’ desire for a green profile for their city."

In the wake of the COP21 global climate pact signed last December in Paris, communities around the world are increasingly turning away from fossil fuels and looking to renewable energy. Jensen said he hoped Copenhagen's move would inspire other cities to follow suit.

"I’m not aware of other capitals that have made such a clear decision as the one we are now making. But I think more will follow in the wake of the climate agreement in Paris," he told the Danish news outlet Information. "The development will go quickly—we are now hearing about coal companies going bankrupt at a fast clip."

The divestment movement has been picking up steam—so to speak—as climate change becomes an increasingly urgent concern. The divestment advocacy group Fossil Free estimates that more than 500 institutions, representing over $3.4 trillion in assets, have committed to pulling their resources from the carbon-intensive industries.

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