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Mayor Gloria proposes policy to divest San Diego's assets from fossil fuels

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria at the San Ysidro pedestrian border crossing. San Ysidro. Nov. 8, 2021.
Matthew Bowler
San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria at the San Ysidro pedestrian border crossing. San Ysidro. Nov. 8, 2021.

Mayor Todd Gloria Tuesday proposed updating city policy to divest the city's investments in fossil fuel companies by the end of the year.

"In order for San Diego to be a global leader on climate, our actions must match our words," he said. "Ensuring that our investments as a city are consistent with our climate goals will help our city to thrive for generations to come."

According to Gloria's proposal, the language of the city's investment policy would "be updated to prohibit direct city investment in fossil fuels such as coal, petroleum and natural gas." The policy will go before the city council next week.


If it passes, the update will remove any assets the city holds in fossil fuels — including $17 million of holdings in Chevron — and prohibit future investment in fossil fuels.

"In our current economic system, financial investments are incredibly influential, and often support fossil fuel production," said Councilman Sean Elo-Rivera. "Divestment from fossil fuel companies and other extractive industries is a significant step to align our policies, plans and pocketbooks with the moral imperative to take immediate climate action.

"By removing the power of these industries in our economy, we shift that power toward equitable climate solutions," he said.

Gloria remains in Scotland, participating in COP26 — the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference — and he said his policy aligns with commitments by nations at the conference to cut back on fossil fuel investments.

"A climate action plan designed to accelerate clean energy adoption cannot support the proliferation of the fossil fuels it seeks to eliminate," said Councilman Joe LaCava. "The city's divestment policy is a reminder that our transition away from oil, coal and natural gas must touch multiple sectors — transportation, energy and financial — to meaningfully advance our climate goals."


According to Gloria's office, moving forward, the city's chief investment officer will do an annual check to ensure that investment holdings do not conflict with climate efforts.