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It’s time for Illinois to divest from fossil fuel companies to take more action against climate change

Chicago Tribune

Monday, September 11, 2023  |  Letter to Editor  |  Melissa Brice

Recent weather events have made it ever clearer that climate change is here and not a myth about the future. Just this summer, Illinois has seen days with temperatures over 100 degrees, flooding and drought. The rest of the country has seen historic wildfires, a hurricane on the West Coast and emergency-level heat in the Southwest.

We have until 2030 until we reach 1.5 degrees of climate change, so time is running out to act. The time for half measures is over. The state of Illinois should pass House Bill 3037 in the next session to align its financial investments with climate action and the Climate and Equity Jobs Act.

HB3037 will divest Illinois state and city of Chicago pension funds from the top oil, coal and natural gas companies. New York state, Maine, New York City and the city of Chicago, to name a few, have already divested or committed to divesting, joining a $40 trillion movement.

Divesting from fossil fuels is not financially risky. Illinois needs to keep our state livable for the next generation.

— Melissa Brice, Chicago