Boston mayor strips frail city of fossil fuels

Boston mayor strips frail city of fossil fuels

Boston The Financial Times: — Boston Mayor Michael Wu signed an ordinance Monday aimed at stripping the city of fossil fuels.

The law would prohibit the use of public funds from investing in stocks, securities or other obligations of any company that derives more than 15% of its revenue from fossil fuels.

The decree also extends to companies that generate more than 15% of revenue from tobacco products or private prison industries.

Wu, the former city councilman who was sworn in as mayor last week, said the move is the culmination of a years-long push to wean Boston away from the fossil fuels that help drive climate change that threatens the port city.

“This is very personal to many of us and urgent,” Wu said during the signing ceremony at Boston City Hall. “My eldest son Blaise was born the first year he served in this building, and it was the first year we started hearing that it was the hottest year ever. Since then, the six years he has been on this planet have been the hottest ever.

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“We are moving quickly to make sure Boston sets the tone for what is possible for that brighter, greener future for all of our children,” Wu added.

Boston City Councilwoman Lydia Edwards, a supporter of the law, said the law would immediately withdraw $65 million from the fossil fuel industry. This measure was unanimously approved by the Boston City Council last week.

US Senator Edward Markey said leaving fossil fuels in the past is good for the city and its residents.

“We are making the right investment decision for our country,” said the Democrat and national Green New Deal supporter. “What Boston stands for here today is the future.”

Environmental advocate and author Bill McKibbin also praised the move.

“Today, Boston claims at least for a day to be the greenest city in the country,” McKibbin said.

As a port city, Boston is preparing for the increasing impact of climate change and rising seas.

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A report unveiled earlier this year, for example, concluded that Boston’s subway system faces a serious threat from rising seas over the next 50 years that could cause flooding and cut vital links around the city.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, which operates the Boston area’s public transportation system, is working on long-term mitigation projects and has directed nearly $2 million into a number of short-term flood prevention projects on the Blue Line, one of the city’s four major projects. Subway lines.

Boston has the oldest subway system in the country.

City officials did not immediately respond to inquiries about whether any existing investments would be affected by the decision.

There have been other moves recently to get rid of fossil fuels.

Harvard President Lawrence Bako announced this year that the university will deprive itself of its holdings in fossil fuels.

And in January, New York City officials announced that two pension funds for city workers would withdraw investments estimated at $4 billion from fossil-fuel companies in order to promote the use of clean energy.

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Not every government-led initiative aimed at tackling climate change is successful.

Just last week, Republican Governor Charlie Baker ditched his administration’s ambitious plan to create a multi-state pact aimed at dramatically reducing greenhouse gas pollution from transportation after the deal failed to attract attention in other states.

The decree signed Monday is one of the first major political actions taken by Wu, who was sworn in last week.

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