May 16

Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement Sweeps MA as Three More Towns Vote in Favor of Divestment

framingham town meeting 2At town meetings in the last 10 days, three Massachusetts towns have approved resolutions calling for divestment from fossil fuels!  The resolutions call on the towns and the State of Massachusetts to confront the climate crisis and take a stand against fossil fuel companies by withdrawing funds from fossil fuel investments.

On the evening of Thursday, May 15, Framingham approved a divestment resolution. The vote in Framingham is especially significant because Framingham is the most populous municipality in the nation with a town-meeting form of government. Sudbury approved a divestment resolution on Wednesday, May 7, as did Concord on Tuesday, May 6. Framingham, Sudbury, and Concord join other towns that have also approved divestment resolutions: Amherst, Cambridge, Northampton, Provincetown, and Truro.

Ken Weiss, who introduced the divestment resolution at Framingham Town Meeting said, “We have a responsibility to do everything we can to confront the climate crisis. Tonight, the Town of Framingham sends a message that it is time to transition to a future beyond fossil fuels.”

“Divestment is a proven strategy that has been used effectively to solve large-scale problems when other solutions were being blocked”, said Bob Lawson, who presented the resolution in Concord, “ Vested interests are blocking climate solutions. This is not about starving the fossil fuel companies of funds; this is about mobilizing the grassroots to counter their political power.”

“The climate crisis is highly urgent, and our entire society has been thwarted by political power of the fossil fuel industry. Now we are using divestment to push back. The town of Sudbury has taken a great step, and we also call on the State of Massachusetts to divest the pension fund,” said Bob Morrison, and resident of Sudbury.

Towns are not the only ones driving the divestment movement in Massachusetts. Faith organizations, such as the United Church of Christ, Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, and individual Unitarian Universalist congregations have also approved divestment resolutions. Massachusetts legislation, known as S.1225, proposed by Senator Downing of Pittsfield would divest the State’s pension fund.  Earlier this month, students from across the University of Massachusetts system recently met with the system president, Robert L. Caret, to discuss divestment.