Seen as a big win for the growing climate movement, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (SFERS) has unanimously passed a resolution calling on the San Francisco Employee Retirement System to take out more than $583 million invested in the 200 companies holding most of the world’s reserves of fossil fuels, 350.org has reported.
If the SFERS Board approves the Supervisors’ call, then this will be the biggest pension fund in the United States to divest from the fossil fuel industry. Divestment from fossil fuels is seen as important step towards serious action on climate change.
The San Francisco Employee’s Retirement Fund is a huge $16 billion pension fund involving over 52,000 employees and retirees of the City and County of San Francisco, and their survivors. The fund currently has about $583.7 million in public holdings in 91 of the top 200 fossil fuel corporations, including ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell Oil, Occidental Petroleum, and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation.
As part of the national Go Fossil Free campaign, in San Francisco the divestment push was led by 350 Bay Area, as part of the international 350.org campaign. The push was also supported by many other environmental groups.
Founder of 350.org and outspoken climate activist Bill McKibben said of the move, “San Francisco’s commitment is a big victory for the burgeoning fossil fuel divestment movement.”
San Francisco is actually the third city in the U.S. to push for fossil fuel divestment. Ithaca and Seattle were the pioneers in this regard. Do you think that many other cities will now follow suit in the push for depriving the huge and powerful fossil fuel industry of necessary investment funding? Stay tuned, this could get very interesting.
Image CC licensed by Stig Nygaard: Offshore oil rig