An initiative to add Eugene to a growing list of U-S cities choosing to divest from fossil fuel companies gained early traction Monday night. With a unanimous vote, the City Council decided to take up the issue at a future meeting.
Currently Eugene does not directly invest in any fossil fuel companies, but it does invest about a half million dollars indirectly through the state-run Local Government Investment Pool.
Mayor Kitty Piercy is pushing the divestment initiative, in part, to further the city’s sustainability goals.
Piercy: “Take what resources we have and ability we have to use our investments to follow our Council goals. And move us in the direction our city says it wants to go.”
Two Councilors compared this strategy to the international divestment in South Africa that helped end apartheid.
Several cities across the US – including Madison, Berkeley, Seattle and San Francisco – have already or are currently moving towards divestment as a way to battle climate change.
Although not every Councilor voiced support for divestment, all agreed to give full consideration to a range of options – from changing city policy to crafting letters to state financial officials urging them to move the joint pool away from such investments.