In her first major policy action, Boston Michelle Wu signed an ordinance on Monday to divest public funds from fossil fuels. The measure prohibits public investment in any financial instrument deriving more than 15% of its revenue from fossil fuels, as well as from tobacco products or jail or prison facilities. “Boston, as a finance hub, is looked to for leadership. By signing this ordinance, Mayor Wu signals that she is serious [and] that Boston is serious” about pursuing climate goals, Mary Cerulli, founder of Climate Finance Action, told the Boston Globe.
Boston is increasingly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and is already spending millions of dollars on short-term projects to prevent flooding in its subway system, the oldest in the country. The ordinance does not apply to the city’s pension investments, which are governed by state law. The divestment ordinance is the latest in a growing drumbeat of divestment moves, including by New York City and Harvard University earlier this year. (Boston Globe $, AP, WBUR, WCVB, Boston.com, Local10)