In her op-ed “A feel-good folly” (Dec. 23), which criticizes the D.C. Council’s proposal to take the District’s investments out of fossil-fuel companies, Paula R. Jackson misses the point of divestment. The leverage this movement aims to bring is not simply economic. It’s moral.
Ms. Jackson writes as if fossil-fuel companies — who financially support her organization, the American Association of Blacks in Energy — are somehow blameless despite everything we know about their contribution to climate pollution. She writes as though the working, poor and struggling families of the District and every state are somehow responsible for solving the climate crisis by themselves.
This is a basic issue of justice. The wealthiest corporations on Earth have the power to help solve the problems they have done so much to create. But recent research uncovered that these same companies spend nearly $1 billion a year to fight progress on climate change.
Ms. Jackson is mistaken on the status of divestment efforts in San Francisco. The San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System actually took a step toward selling off its fossil-fuel stocks, with a unanimous decision to advocate for the industry to change its practices and to further study divestment of its $16 billion fund from fossil fuels.