The strategic withdrawal of money from investments that are harmful to the climate (divestment) and its sustainable reinvestment are gaining ground in the public and private realms. Because there are many ecological, ethical and financial arguments in favour of removing assets from fossil fuels, cities and local communities, which are also investors, are increasingly grappling with this issue.
As part of the National Climate Initiative (NKI), the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) is promoting the project “Climate-friendly investment – local divestment and reinvestment”. The aim of this project is to spread divestment and reinvestment with and in urban districts throughout Germany. The three focal areas of this project are exploration of the potential for local divestment; constructive dialogues between trailblazers, experts and other actors (including to remove obstacles to divestment); and support for local divestment and reinvestment: cities are empowered and guided in analysing their financial investments in terms of climate-friendliness and sustainability, and in using alternative reinvestment opportunities that are climate-friendlier – to fulfil their fiduciary responsibility and to better protect the climate.
The consortium led by adelphi will first determine urban districts’ level of interest in the issue of divestment through a survey in spring 2018, then initiate an exchange among interested cities. Starting in autumn 2018, this exchange will be intensified through a variety of workshops, conferences and citizen dialogues. Sharing the experiences of pioneering cities in order to motivate and inspire others will play an important role here. Furthermore, selected cities that are interested in reinvestment will receive on-site support from (financial) experts. A handbook for local divestment and reinvestment and a strategy paper for political decision-makers will gather together experiences and insights from the project, making them available to all cities.
Interested cities are welcome to contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.