We did it!
Chicago has now divested the City’s portfolio from fossil fuel assets!
With the vote in the Chicago City Council this afternoon and Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s signature, fossil fuel divestment is now the law in Chicago! Over the last 18 months, the City Treasurer’s office has divested $70 million dollars from the fund the City uses to finance its operations. The Fossil Fuel Divestment Ordinance will now prohibit the city from purchasing and holding fossil fuel assets from the top 225 companies with in-ground assets.
For 7 years, 350 Chicago has advocated for the change in investment policy to fight the Climate Crisis. Our organization met with Chicagoans and Chicago’s political leaders, educating the public and politicians on the efficacy and necessity of divestment. We explained divestment would deprive the gas, oil and coal industry from investment capital to fund destructive infrastructure to mine, process and burn fossil fuels. During our meetings with city leaders, we provided arguments and ample evidence for divestment as a smart investment strategy while arguing the moral dimension of the policy. As 350.org founder Bill McKibben eloquently stated, “The logic of divestment couldn’t be simpler: if it’s wrong to wreck the climate, it’s wrong to profit from that wreckage.”
350 Chicago would like to thank Mayor Lori Lightfoot for her leadership in introducing the ordinance, City Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin and her staff for engaging in the process of creating the legislation, and all the City Aldermen 350 Chicago has met with over the years of our campaign. 350 Chicago would like to especially thank ordinance sponsors 49th Ward Alderwoman Maria Hadden, 1st Ward Alderman Daniel La Spata, 12th Ward Alderman George A. Cardenas, and 32nd Ward Alderman Scott Waguespack and each of their staff members.
We would also like to thank all the volunteers at 350 Chicago for doggedly driving this issue. If you spent any time over the last 7 years working on this issue with our organization, this is your victory!
Lastly, we would like to especially thank the support of our donors. None of this would be possible without your generous support and we wanted to say thank you, thank you, thank you!
And our work is not yet finished…
This historic decision sets the stage for the State of Illinois to divest from the fossil fuel industry. We will push the State Government to follow in Chicago’s footsteps. Let’s capitalize on the momentum and make our voices heard!
If you would like to fund our work, please consider providing a generous donation here. Any amount will help us become more effective. The State Divestment Campaign will demand more resources and effort over the coming years. We are ready to do the work!
The Fossil Fuel Divestment Team
P.S. Donate here. And help fund our work!