Thanks to our 350 Roaring Fork Valley Team, Pitkin County will be the second county in Colorado to officially divest from the fossil fuel industry! Commissioners met in February and discussed adding to their investment policy a restriction on fossil fuel producers, along with tobacco and firearms. Pitkin County plans to prohibit investing in coal, oil, and gas companies and made the announcement in February. Climate organizations, including 350 Roaring Fork, applaud the decision as a necessary step toward meeting greenhouse gas emissions reductions goals laid out by the IPCC as necessary in order to mitigate worsening climate impacts. The group is also actively urging the City of Aspen to do the same.
350 Colorado has championed efforts to “defund climate disaster” since its inception, successfully divesting the City of Denver of its $180 million in Chevron bonds in 2019. The City of Boulder and Summit County have also divested from fossil fuels. 350 Roaring Fork has been able to ramp up recent divestment campaign work thanks to the Aspen Snowmass Environment Foundation, which is working on protecting and preserving the regional environment.
Worldwide, almost 1,500 cities, counties, universities, pension funds, foundations and faith groups, representing $40 trillion in funds, have pledged to divest from fossil fuel interests. Each fund that divests incrementally raises the borrowing costs of the coal, oil and gas companies doubling down on digging more dirty, carbon-polluting fuels out of the ground. Each divestment announcement is a drumbeat of bad publicity for an industry still blocking the needed action in Washington. Each city, pension fund or foundation that divests invites others to divest.
350 Roaring Fork volunteers have been campaigning to pass divestment resolutions in Aspen, Snowmass, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, New Castle, and Pitkin County. They compelled Aspen to divest from Berkshire Hathaway, which owns coal utilities and gas pipelines. They are also enlisting their five other local governments in an effort to divest the statewide municipal investment pool, CSAFE. Over 400 municipal entities invest in CSAFE, which owns $24 million in Exxon and Chevron bonds.
Here’s how you can take action;
- Help pass a divestment resolution in your city or county! Contact Giselle@350colorado.org to learn more or join 350CO’s Defunding Climate Disaster Committee to get involved and support local divestment efforts.
- Sign the Petitions! Tell Aspen to Pass a Divestment Resolution and Divest Roaring Fork Valley of Fossil Fuels.
- Join us in thanking Pitkin County for working toward fossil fuel divestment! Contact the Commissioners here.
Want to learn more? Read the 2021 report highlighting the fossil fuel divestment movement’s success and rationale: Divestment Commitments Reach $39 Trillion