Where we as individuals or as communities invest our money is a reflection of our values and what we believe is worth investing in. As local governments transform their approach to governance to be more equitable and sustainable, this consciousness must extend to how public money is invested as well. Divestment from exploitative corporations, industries and practices has a long history dating back to the 1960s and divestment from Apartheid South Africa. But today, many local governments continue to hold investments and pension funds in fossil fuels, the prison industrial complex, gun manufacturers and tobacco companies or do business with banks and insurance companies that hold such investments.
Divestment entails not only shifting investments away from corporations and industries that are fundamentally anti-life and anti-ecological; it also means reinvesting those funds into more sustainable, climate-friendly businesses and practices. Local governments are especially promising locales for the divestment movement because municipal and state governments act as managers of significant collective investments. Reinvesting in companies and organizations whose practices align with our GND principles and visions is both a public signal of values and a substantive step towards funding the future we want to build.