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From L.A. to Oslo, 12 big cities pledge to divest from fossil fuels

Young people attend an environmental protest in Berlin last November.
Young people attend a protest in Berlin last November demanding action on climate change.
(Michael Sohn / Associated Press)

A dozen cities around the world, including Los Angeles and New York, pledged their commitment Tuesday to divest from fossil-fuel companies as part of efforts to combat climate change.

The U.S.’ two most populous cities joined Pittsburgh, New Orleans, London, Berlin, Oslo, South Africa’s Cape Town and Durban, England’s Bristol, Italy’s Milan and Canada’s Vancouver in pledging to take “all possible steps to divest city assets from fossil-fuel companies and [increase] financial investments in climate solutions.”

The 12 cities — which among them have a total of 36 million residents — said they would ensure that pension funds and other public money would be invested in “a green and just recovery from COVID-19.”

Environmental campaigners and top officials such as U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres have warned that trillions of dollars being spent by governments to stimulate pandemic-hit economies should not be used to subsidize fossil-fuel companies, which could jeopardize efforts to tackle climate change.

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Berlin Mayor Michael Mueller expressed hope that the cities’ decision to pull out of “climate-damaging and ethically problematic investment strategies” would send a political signal to other investors to do the same.


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