The Berlin House of Representatives has voted to divest from oil, coal, and natural gas companies, according to recent reports.
More specifically, the Berlin parliament voted to blacklist investment into companies that are incompatible with the city’s stated goal of going “climate neutral” by the year 2050. The policy will relate to Berlin’s €750 million pension fund — which currently holds investments in E.ON, RWE, and Total, amongst others.
The decision means that Berlin is following in the footsteps of a number of other prominent European cities — Paris, Copenhagen, Stockholm, etc. — and thusly, making a show of its move away from fossil fuel investment.
A campaigner with Fossil Free Berlin by the name of Christoph Meyer commented: “Berlin’s decision to blacklist fossil fuel companies is the latest victory for the divestment movement, which serves to remove the social license from companies whose business model pushes us into climate catastrophe. We will keep a close eye on the administration to make sure it upholds today’s commitment and urge the city to now take quick steps to break its reliance on coal power.”
The decision follows a, by all accounts, persistent 2-year campaign by Fossil Free Berlin to influence policy on the matter — a successful campaign, it seems.
The divestment process is expected to begin sometime before or by January 2017, reportedly. The government of Berlin will be working with parties yet to be determined to identify an appropriate plan of action.