The city pension divestment campaign is news again in Seattle. Four years ago, the mayor of Seattle called for divestment from fossil fuels, but the Seattle retirement board refused to go along. It’s not enough to get a commitment to divest. We have to ensure that the votes are there to really make it happen. In Seattle, it didn’t.
Stating that “more than ever we need people of conscience to put their money where their values are” the group asserts that a “green leader” like the City of Seattle should not continue to invest in fossil fuels.
The petition campaign seeks signatures from City of Seattle employees and retirees. The petition lists examples of how climate change already affects Washington’s natural resources:
The state of Washington is already feeling the brunt of climate change. In recent years, we have seen over 50% of Columbia River salmon die in overheated rivers, record-breaking wildfires scorch our lands, burn our homes and kill. Drought has cost our state hundreds of millions of dollars over the last few years alone, our snow packs have plummeted, resulting in more water pollution, less drinking water, and less hydro-electric capacity, while also robbing our ski industry of millions of dollars. Our forests are threatened by the pine bark beetle, which thrives in warmer temperatures. Many of the Pacific Northwest’s native plant and animal species are at risk, and some of our coastal communities will become uninhabitable due to sea-level rise in the years ahead.