Resolution Introduced to Push San Francisco to Divest from Fossil Fuels


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February 5, San Francisco District 11 Supervisor John Avalos introduced a resolution urging the Retirement Board of the San Francisco Employee’s Retirement System (SFERS) to divest from the 200 corporations that hold the majority of the world’s fossil fuel reserves. If the resolution is approved by the Board of Supervisors, San Francisco would become the second city in the nation to pursue fossil fuel divestment. 

“San Francisco has aggressive goals to address climate change,” said Supervisor John Avalos. “It’s important that we apply these same values when we decide how to invest our funds, so we can limit our financial contributions to fossil fuels and instead promote renewable alternatives.”

If the resolution is approved by the Board of Supervisors, San Francisco would become the second city in the nation to pursue fossil fuel divestment. This December, the Mayor of Seattle pledged to keep city funds out of the fossil fuel industry and urged the city’s pension funds to consider divestment. Avalos is also introducing a resolution today to push SFERS to divest from arms manufacturers.

The push for fossil fuel divestment is part of a new national campaign, Go Fossil Free, that has spread to over 230 colleges and universities across the country. The effort is modeled on the 1980s movement to divest from apartheid South Africa. So far, two small schools, Unity College and Hampshire College, have divested from fossil fuels.

“I'm sure San Francisco will join Seattle in a show of Pacific solidarity,” said Bill McKibben, founder of, one of the organizations helping lead the divestment movement. “The Bay Area will spend billions adapting to climate change--it makes no sense at all to simultaneously invest in the corporations making that work necessary.” 

Keith Cossairt
2/19/2013 9:13:23 PM

one of the few dividend paying will be sad when the retirement fund tanks and grandma goes hungry.

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