12. What Others Did

Gas Free Pensions

Berlin, June 23, 2016: After 500 days of action and hope, the Berlin parliament voted unanimously for Divestment! Public money from the 667 million euro pension reserves would now have to be withdrawn by the Senator for Finance from all companies “whose business model contradicts the goal of climate neutrality”. Investments into climate-damaging coal, oil and gas industries would be banned.

Members of the Berlin House of Representatives gather in front of the city parliament after divestment vote

After voting in favor of the divestment proposal, members of the Berlin Parliament came out for a group photo with Fossil Free Berlins “money bill” bearing the signatures of 1500 supporters.

In doing so, Berlin followed the examples of, for example, Oslo, Copenhagen, Seattle, Paris, Melbourne, M√ľnster and Stockholm. The capital joined the worldwide divestment movement, which included more than 500 major investors such as universities, churches, foundations, insurance companies, and pension funds.

RWE, E.on and Total, among others, where on the black list of unwanted companies. Also taboo where companies that made money with nuclear power and weapons of war.

Follow-Up: Berlin commissioned a financial services provider to develop an fossil-free and ethical stock index: the so-called BENEXX. Investments were re-allocated Sept. 2017. The BENEXX is now available for other federal states. Schleswig-Holstein uses it, too.