City of Vancouver Votes on Divestment


Today, Vancouver City Councillors submitted a motion instructing staff to assess climate risk in City investments and provide options for divesting from fossil fuels. The motion cites accelerating global warming with the need to leave fossil fuel reserves in the ground creating an increasing risk of “stranded assets”. Councillor Adriane Carr’s motion was developed in consultation with staff, Councillors Christine Boyle and Jean Swanson, and 350Vancouver. The work coming out of this motion will have implications far beyond the City and we want to see it pass at next week’s vote.

This motion provides instructions relating to:

  • Options and timelines for full City divestment from fossil fuels; engagement with the Municipal Finance Authority (MFA) to create a fossil free fund;
  • Revisiting outdated research on divestment by the Union of BC Municipalities;
  • Ways for the City to implement the guidelines of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
  • Support  for local businesses and other private institutions to understand and apply TCFD decision-making in their work.
  • Requesting a risk assessment of the Municipal Pension Plan’s investments based on carbon exposure.
  • Requesting the Province develop a model for crown corporations and provincial agencies to include disclosures guided by TCFD.
  • Have the Mayor sign on behalf of the City Global Green New Deal pledge  signed by the other C40 mayors. That pledge includes an “urgent, fundamental and irreversible transfer of global resources away from fossil fuels and into action that averts the climate emergency.”

Read the full motion here.

While not an instruction to divest at this time, the motion sets the groundwork and creates tools for the shifting of publicly held assets across BC away from increasingly risky investments in fossil fuels. 350Vancouver sees the climate crisis as first and foremost a justice issue but we recognize that in this moment an approach based on financial considerations can gets us to the same result.

We will keep pushing until we get full divestment from the City. We have been given to understand that this could happen in the Spring of 2020.

This is a significant moment for our divestment campaign at 350Vancouver.

To make sure this motion passes next Wednesday, we need your help.

Can you take five minutes to write to City Council asking Councillors to vote in favour of this motion?

Use this form to email City Council, urging them to pass Motion B4. You can use the following points in helping to write your email:


  • The City of Vancouver has a fiduciary duty to evaluate the risk posed by fossil fuel assets contained in its investment portfolio, and Motion B4 represents a critical step in determining the scope of that risk.
  • A re-evaluation of the City’s investment strategy presents a key opportunity to strengthen investments for long-term success. Recent analysis has shown how various pension funds and institutions have lost out on significant growth that could have been achieved by implementing managed divestment plans.
  • Already, over $11 trillion dollars have been committed to divested funds worldwide.
  • Given Vancouver’s location as a coastal city that stands to be impacted by the climate crisis, an examination of the city’s investments in fossil fuels is warranted from a public safety and climate mitigation perspective.

You can also thank Council for their efforts to date in making climate action a priority, or include any personal reasons why divestment is important to you!

Want to get more involved in our divestment campaign? Come to our next monthly meeting on Thursday, Devember 5th at 6:30pm at the HiVE, 128 West Hastings St.


Andrew Larigakis


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