Boston (AP) — Mayor of Boston Michelle Wu signed an ordinance on Monday aimed at selling the city from fossil fuels.
The ordinance prohibits the use of public funds from being invested in stocks, securities, or other obligations of companies that earn more than 15% of their income from fossil fuels.
This ordinance also applies to companies that earn more than 15% of their income from the tobacco products or the private prison industry.
Former city council member Wu, who took office last week, said the move is the culmination of many years of push to keep Boston away from fossil fuels that are helping drive climate change threatening coastal cities. ..
“This is very personal and urgent for many of us,” Wu said at the signing ceremony at Boston City Hall. “My eldest son Blaze was born in the first year I served in this building. The first year we started listening was the hottest year ever. Since then, we have lived on this planet. Each of his six years was the hottest on record.
“We are moving fast to ensure that Boston sets the tone of what is possible for the brightest green future for all children,” Wu added.
The ordinance will immediately withdraw $ 65 million from the fossil fuel industry, said Lydia Edwards, a Boston city council member who supports the ordinance. The bill was unanimously approved by the Boston City Council last week.
Senator Edward Marquee said leaving fossil fuels in the past is good for the city and its inhabitants.
“We are making the right investment decisions for our country,” said a Democrat and supporter of the National Green New Deal. “Boston represents here today in the future.”
Environmentalist and writer Bill McKibben also welcomed the move.
“Today, Boston claims to be the most environmentally friendly city in the country for at least one day,” said McKibben.
As a coastal city, Boston is preparing for the increasing impact of climate change and rising sea levels.
A report released earlier this year, for example, Boston’s subway system faces serious threats from rising seas over the next 50 years, which could cause floods and break important links in the city. I concluded that there is.
The Massachusetts Bay Transport Authority, which operates the Boston area’s public transport system, is working on a long-term mitigation project to prevent flooding in the Blue Line, one of the city’s four major cities. Is aimed at many short-term projects. Subway line.
Boston has the oldest subway system in the country.
City officials did not immediately answer inquiries as to whether current investments would be affected by the ordinance.
There have been other recent moves to sell from fossil fuels.
Harvard President Lawrence Bacow announced this year that the university will sell itself from its fossil fuel holdings.
And in January, New York City officials announced that two pension funds for urban workers would withdraw an estimated $ 4 billion in investment from fossil fuel companies to promote the use of clean energy.
Not all government-led initiatives aimed at addressing climate change have been successful.
Just last week, Republican Governor Charlie Baker launched a multi-state compact aimed at dramatically curbing greenhouse gas pollution caused by transport after the deal couldn’t gain momentum in other states. Abandoned his administration’s ambitious plan to create.
The ordinance signed on Monday was one of Wu’s first major policy actions sworn last week.