Boston City Councilors Wu and O’Malley Call for Hearing on Fossil Fuel Divestment

Boston, Oct. 7, 2014, – Boston City Councilors Michelle Wu (At-Large) and Matt O’Malley (District 6) filed a hearing order on Monday regarding fossil fuel divestment for City of Boston funds. The order will be introduced at the October 8th meeting of the Boston City Council.
Activists at People’s Climate March in New York City on Sept. 21, 2014(file photo).

“The investments made by the City of Boston should reflect the values of our community and our residents,” said Wu. “Socially responsible investment will yield positive results for the community, for taxpayers, and for the planet. Boston can continue to be a leader in the fight against climate change by divesting City of Boston funds from fossil fuels.”

“Divesting City of Boston funds from fossil fuels is a huge step in the right direction and I am proud to support this measure,” said O’Malley, who serves as the chair of the City Council’s Environment and Parks Committee. “The city has proven that it is serious about reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 with the 2013 passage of the the Boston Energy and Disclosure Ordinance and other initiatives. Divestment is another way that the city can demonstrate its commitment to addressing the grave threat of climate change to our city and our planet.”

In the order, the Councilors cite other Massachusetts cities and towns, including Cambridge, Framingham, and Amherst, that have already passed legislation supporting divestment of fossil fuels from retirement funds.

The hearing will focus on the current investment portfolio for Boston’s pension funds, the possibility of the Boston Retirement Board divesting any and all holdings in fossil fuel companies, and the creation of socially responsible investment criteria for City of Boston funds.

The hearing order invites representatives from the Boston Retirement Board, the Environment, Energy and Open Space Cabinet, the Boston Student Advisory Council, Better Future Project, 350 MA, and other interested parties to testify.

The full text of the hearing order can be found here.