Exciting times for climate change campaigners in Europe! We welcome today the decision of the Norwegian capital Oslo’s new city council to divest its pension fund from oil and gas, following a decision earlier this year to divest from coal. And Oslo is not alone!
Also the municipality of Uppsala in Sweden just decided to divest from fossil fuels, echoing an increasing awareness about this issue in Europe which brought many institutions to similar decisions (for more information see here and watch the videos of our International Divestment Conference in Paris). Our Swedish member Party “Miljöpartiet de Gröna” holds six ministers and is included in coalition governments in the majority of the country. It also forms part of the governing majority in Uppsala. The Party holds a very important position in Sweden and in Europe (25 MPs and 4 MEPs), a position which can actually make a difference for the divestment movement. Maria Gardfjell, the Green Deputy Mayor in Uppsala, explains us Uppsala’s forward-looking choice.
«As COP 21 comes nearer, cities are scrambling to show leadership in climate change mitigation. In this context, the global movement to divest from fossil fuels gains momentum. In a recent move, Uppsala municipality in Sweden announced that it is going to do away with all investments in the fossil fuel industry (divest). Maria Gardfjell declared:
‘Addressing climate change has been our highest priority since we won the local election last year. We have worked hard with investments in biking, nature reserves and close cooperation with local businesses. Now we take the next step and address our financial policy. Divestment from fossil fuels makes our climate policy more modern and consistent.
‘The logic behind divestment is that a large majority of fossil reserves must be kept in the ground if the global increase in temperature is to be kept within safe limits. By limiting investments in the industry, its capacity to continue the unsustainable extraction is reduced.
‘We are the second, and thus far the largest, Swedish municipality to make this decision. We now challenge more European cities to divest. This is important for the momentum in the run-up to COP21’.
The decision to divest is included in the municipal budget for 2016, which is expected to be adopted on November 2-3. It is formulated as follows: ‘the holding of investments of the municipality (and of the foundations in which the municipality has a critical influence) should be investigated in order to abandon investments in companies that produce coal, oil and natural gas’»
Keen to learn more or to take action against climate change? Check our Campaign # Climate Moment # ParisMoment out!