Ready, steady... Divest!
By on 29 February 2016
During its latest meeting, the City Council of La Rochelle (France) decided to require its financial partners (banks, insurance providers, investors, etc.) to provide information on the shares of investments directed towards fossil energy and of investments in the energy transition. In the minutes of the meeting, the Council also requires those partners to set up a divestment plan, thereby redirecting cash flows from fossil energy to energy efficiency and renewable energy.
With this move, La Rochelle joins a group of over 30 French local authorities already engaged in divesting from fossil fuels. A third of these cities are members of Energy Cities.
Meanwhile, across the Channel...
UK councils were recently warned by the national government that they would face "severe penalties" if they divest from fossil fuel holdings or boycott oil, coal or gas firms in procurement tenders, the Guardian revealed.
This decision is hard to understand a few months only after the British government committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero later this century during the COP21 in Paris.
Peter Marland, the council leader of Milton Keynes - a member of Energy Cities - called the announcement an “undemocratic attack on the renewable energy sector”. “If local councillors wish to choose other investments, such as green energy that are in the longer term interest of society, then they should be free to do so”, he added.
The fossil fuel divestment movement is growing stronger all over the world. The international 350.org platform now counts more than 1,000 local divestment campaigns.
Find the divestment campaigns in your area
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