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Mayor Gloria Proposes City’s Divestment from Fossil Fuel Investments



Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021 



SAN DIEGO – As part of his efforts to have San Diego continue to lead on climate action and in connection with his participation at the COP26 global climate conference, Mayor Todd Gloria announced today his proposal to update the City of San Diego’s Investment Policy to divest current reserves in fossil fuel companies by December 31, 2021, in alignment with State and local climate goals.

“In order for San Diego to be a global leader on climate, our actions must match our words,” Mayor Gloria said. "Ensuring that our investments as a city are consistent with our climate goals will help our city to thrive for generations to come.” 

The language of the City’s Investment Policy would be updated to prohibit direct City investment in fossil fuels such as coal, petroleum and natural gas. This policy will come before the City Council next week. If passed, the update will cause the City to remove any assets currently held from fossil fuels, which includes $17 million of holdings in Chevron, and prohibit the investment of fossil fuels in the future.

"In our current economic system, financial investments are incredibly influential, and often support fossil fuel production,” said Councilmember Sean Elo-Rivera, representative for District 9. "Divestment from fossil fuel companies and other extractive industries is a significant step to align our policies, plans and pocketbooks with the moral imperative to take immediate climate action. By removing the power of these industries in our economy, we shift that power toward equitable climate solutions. Together, we can overcome our global climate crisis, fulfill the promises of our landmark Climate Action Plan and create a City that preserves our environment for generations to come.” 

This update comes as Mayor Gloria participates in COP26 – the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference – and aligns with recently announced commitments by nations at COP26 to cut back on domestic and global fossil fuel investments, including the U.S.’s pledge to end public funding of oil and gas investments overseas.

"A climate action plan designed to accelerate clean energy adoption cannot support the proliferation of the fossil fuels it seeks to eliminate,” said Councilmember Joe LaCava, representative for District 1. “The City’s divestment policy is a reminder that our transition away from oil, coal and natural gas must touch multiple sectors – transportation, energy and financial – to meaningfully advance our climate goals. Following the model set by cities and institutions from around the world, we will demonstrate that climate action and fiscal responsibility are not mutually exclusive, rather, climate success is financial success.” 

These divestment efforts also align with the City’s “Our Climate, Our Future” initiative, which includes the updated Climate Action Plan, Municipal Energy Strategy and an overall commitment to reduce green-house gases to address the climate crisis, improve public health and quality of life, and drive innovation and opportunity in our regional economy.

“As we work together to combat the climate crisis, it’s critical that our actions reflect our values, which is why I am glad Mayor Gloria is advancing the process of divesting San Diego from fossil fuels," said U.S. Congressman Mike Levin. “This announcement is yet another example of San Diego’s extraordinary leadership on climate change, which I have been proud to highlight as part of COP26 in Scotland this week.”

As the City continues to take bold action on these climate efforts, it is important to ensure that no workers are left behind in the transition to clean energy. The City recognizes that we must pair emissions reduction policies with investments in other technologies, building practices, or workforce programs to provide for a just transition and to ensure that newer fields offer good, living wage jobs that provide the security necessary to support San Diego families.

Moving forward, the City’s Chief Investment Officer will do an annual check to ensure that investment holdings do not conflict with climate efforts.