fossil_webAt their regular meeting on June 26, the City of Somerville’s Board of Aldermen unanimously approved a resolution urging individuals, colleges and universities, foundations, and governments to divest their funds from publicly-traded fossil fuel companies. The vote marks a major milestone for Fossil Free Somerville, the community group which organized a petition effort in support of an earlier version of the resolution, which directly addressed Somerville’s Retirement Board.

Although the petition garnered the signatures of 129 registered Somerville voters, prompting a public hearing which drew a large and supportive audience, as members of the city’s retirement system, the Aldermen were unable to vote on the matter due to a potential conflict of interest. Mark Niedergang (Ward 5) and Rebekah Gewirtz (Ward 6), in cooperation with members of Fossil Free Somerville, subsequently developed an amended resolution designed to express the Board’s general opinion in support of divestment from the fossil fuel industry. While the decision of whether or not to divest ultimately rests with the Retirement Board, the Board of Aldermen’s vote communicates democratic, grassroots support for the strategy and reinforces the City of Somerville’s commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship.

About Fossil Free Somerville

Fossil Free Somerville is a grassroots organization dedicated to locally oriented action designed to combat climate change and challenge the companies that drive it. Specifically, we want the City of Somerville to divest its pension fund from the fossil fuel industry. Composed of a diverse range of Somerville citizens, we share a common conviction that climate change represents the gravest exigent threat to the planet and its people.

 

12 Responses to “Somerville’s Board of Aldermen unanimously approves resolution supporting fossil fuel divestment”

  1. A. Moore says:

    And this will make a difference how? Right. Zero. Better luck with having a fossil fuel free Somerville. See how that will work. Granted we want to help the environment but a do nothing move like this will only hurt pensions and nothing else. Since we rely on fossil fuel for our daily survival we have no choice in it’s usage until something better comes along. A little bit of common sense here would go along way.

  2. good news says:

    this opens up parking in front of city hall, as I assume these do-gooders will be biking or walking to all their meetings? No, I didn’t really think so. It’s fun and easy to make a grand statement that means nothing about your personal commitment to the issue.

  3. Uncle Rocco says:

    Hey Moore

    I just wanted to let you know that I’m supporting a resolution to express my concerns over the importance of recognizing the significance of the need to address the issue of the questions about the potholes on your street.

    You can thank me later . . .

  4. A. Moore says:

    No bikes, need fossil fuel to make and ship them. What can we fill potholes with not using fossil fuel. Filler is made with it, tools to install it is, truck to deliver it is. Can’t have he police standing there directing traffic with is coffee which is here due to fossil fuel and the phone to text on made from fossil fuel. Guess we may as well close up the city and get it over with.

  5. ritepride says:

    This nails it we can add the Somerville BOA to the Village Voices national list of ” 53 Worst Politicians & Blowhards ” well deserved for these rubber stampers of mayoral budgets and give aways to developers. If it fits..Do Convict!

  6. jake says:

    what a bunch of hypocrites! Lets cut down on the fossil fuels but each one of the BOA including Rebecca have reserved spaces for their cars at City Hall. If they are so concerned why don’t they set an example and bike or take public transit to the BOA meeting? How about the Mayor and his two political police pals that serve as his chauffeur and drive him around the city?

  7. PixiePocahontas says:

    Has green energy surpassed fossil fuel with investment dollars? Due diligence is needed when deciding on serious matters of pension investments and city funds.

  8. insider says:

    Thank God Gewirtz came back to Somerville to vote for this after missing an entire week of budget meetings.

  9. JAR says:

    Meanwhile, I sat for two full minutes at the red light at School and Highland this morning at 0430 (after having caught the red lights at Lowell and Central) while there were no other vehicles on the rangeways. Stop-Go, Stop-Go, Stop-Go, wasting fuel all the while. I guess “Fossil-Free Somerville” doesn’t care about that.

  10. makes sense says:

    insider, that makes perfect sense. Budget hearings involve boring, day to day service delivery and programming. snooze. and you really have to dive in and learn all about it. This is just a simple statement. Sign it, get your “I care” points and walk away.

  11. ritepride says:

    “Uncle Rocco” A.Moore has a valid point, why repeatedly pour several tons of pothole filler to the same hole when simply repaving the section would in reality be cheaper.

  12. JAR says:

    I usually try to avoid posting URL links, but this one may shed some light on the futility of this group’s–and the Somerville BOA’s–actions. It’s a book about the Jevons Paradox.

    http://www.amazon.com/Resource-Efficiency-Improvements-Earthscan-Research/dp/1844074625

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