350NYC and DC 37 Climate Justice Committee Present: Climate Justice & Pension Fund Investments – Divesting Public Pension Funds from Fossil Fuels
Opening Remarks – The Case for Fossil Fuel Divestment – Henry Garrido, Executive Director, District Council 37 https://youtu.be/UqaFXZYTUW0
The Climate Emergency: Impacts on NYC – Judy Sheridan Gonzalez, RN, President of New York State Nurses Union https://youtu.be/AwFNOXSrmeY
Climate Jobs and Environmental Justice, NYC Environmental Initiatives and Legislation – Jon Forster, DC37 Climate Justice Committee and Ana Orozco, UPROSE, Climate Justice Policy and Programs Coordinator Samara Swanston, Legislative Council, Environmental Committee, City Council of NYC https://youtu.be/pMeBC0c7TdY
(Stand alone segment from previous) Climate Jobs and Environmental Justice – Ana Orozco, UPROSE, Climate Justice Policy and Programs Coordinator https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnJBhKgpcpg
Divestment Successes and Local Leadership – Bob Muehlenkamp, Labor Network for Sustainability https://youtu.be/RnpVRD2OpU4
NYC Pension Funds Update – John Adler, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Pensions & Investments and Chief Pension Investment Advisor https://youtu.be/Nsvq4WU1l00
Fiduciary Responsibility, Risk Assessments and Climate Change – Tom Sanzillo, Institute for Energy Economics & Financial Analysis, Director of Finance, https://youtu.be/If7DDf1Pj8Y
Investment Alternatives – Ray Santander, District Council 37, Assistant Director of Research and Negotiations https://youtu.be/XLEqiU8RoFM
Closing Remarks: Mark Dunlea, 350NYC https://youtu.be/yoWpMaWAScc and Judy Sheridan Gonzalez, RN, President of New York State Nurses Union
Studies, Reports, Guides –
All links below open .pdf documents.
350NYC: An Introduction to Fossil Free NYC, a 350NYC Divestment Campaign
A Brief Divestment Fact Sheet
A Brief Fossil Fuel Divestment Factsheet
The Aperio Group: Building a Carbon Free Portfolio
building_a_carbon_free_portfolio – The Aperio Group
Impax Asset Management: Beyond Fossil Fuels: The Investment Case for Fossil Fuel Divestment
Impax Investment Case for Fossil Fuel Divestment US Final-1
Ceres: Investor Concerns About Fossil Fuels Are Growing
Investor Concerns About Fossil Fuels Are Growing — Ceres
Boston Common Asset Management, LLC: Boston Common’s Approach to the Energy Sector
HIP Investor: Resilient Portfolios and Fossil Free Pensions
More divestment resources are available on GoFossilFree.org (updated by 350.org).
Press Release: December 4. 2015 – Climate activists call on State to Fully Divest Pension Fund From Fossil Fuels
Fossil Free New York State
For Immediate Release: December 4, 2015
For More Info: Mark Dunlea, 518 860-3725/Nathan Schumer, 253-350-5200
Climate activists call on State to Fully Divest Pension Fund From Fossil Fuels
Groups say that Comptroller DiNapoli’s commitment to increase sustainable investment is a good first step, but the state needs to divest its pension funds from fossil fuels.
Today in Paris, during the United Nations Climate Change Conference, New York State Comptroller DiNapoli announced a new sustainable investment strategy for the New York Common Investment Retirement Fund. The central piece of DiNapoli’s strategy is the creation of a $2 billion low carbon index fund. DiNapoli projects that this index will reduce the emissions profile of this sum by up to 70 percent. Much of the reduction is expected to come from ending investments in coal. This $2 billion index will join an existing program to invest in various green initiatives, which has $3 billion in total, bringing New York State’s sustainable investment profile to $5 billion.
Climate change activists around the state point out that this largely maintains the state’s present investment in fossil fuel companies. They say the state needs to go much further in divesting its pension funds from fossil fuels.
“Shifting some funds to low-carbon investments is not enough. With the world watching COP21 to see if we will change course of history, there will be no true solutions to climate change while world governments and institutions continue to invest in the fossil fuel industry. It is time for the State of New York to join the global divestment movement and commit to removing all investments in the top 200 fossil fuel companies. Investors representing $3.4 trillion in funds have already made this commitment and New York State is lagging behind responsible investors around the world,” said Amy Miller, a member of 350 Brooklyn who is in now in Paris for the climate talks.
Steve Knight, a fellow at Greenfaith and a leader of Fossil Free New York said, “This action only accounts for approximately 2.8 percent of the state’s investment portfolio. Even low carbon funds continue to retain some exposure to fossil fuel companies, so it’s difficult to see how this constitutes a long term solution to the financial risks associated with climate change.”
Activists argue that exposure to the fossil fuel sector constitutes a systemic risk for the New York Common Investment Retirement Fund. “Fossil fuel investments are already too risky – California pension funds lost some $5 Billion on fossil investments according to recent reports. As a recent NY State retiree, I consider it the Comptroller’s fiduciary duty to divest from all fossil fuel stocks in an orderly way, and shift the investments to the clean energy growth industries: solar, wind, energy efficiency and storage,” said Mark Schaeffer of Capital Region 350 Climate Action