After five years of tireless organizing, the movement to divest NYC public worker pension funds from fossil fuels scored a win. On January 10, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that New York City will divest the $5 billion of its pension funds presently invested in fossil fuel stocks. It will also sue the top five fossil fuel corporations—ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips—charging that because they hid the evidence that burning fossil fuels causes climate change, they are responsible for the billions of dollars the city has spent on climate remediation.
Norway’s $890 billion government pension fund, considered the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world, will sell off many of its investments related to coal, making it the biggest institution yet to join a growing international movement to abandon at least some fossil fuel stocks
With campus sit-ins taking place in several states, and more direct actions planned for the days and weeks ahead, a new generation of climate activists is taking the reins in an escalating fight for fossil fuel divestment that's sweeping the nation this spring.
In September 2013, the student organizers of Divest Harvard, a campaign that was already a year old by that time, asked me to speak at the first demonstration of alumni for fossil-fuel divestment (I live near Boston, and I’d been engaged with the campaign from early on, so I was an easy get). As an erstwhile member of the mainstream media, it’s fair to say I’m not a seasoned activist. I haven’t given a lot of speeches in my time, certainly not at rallies. So it was strange, and very humbling, to stand in front of Mass.