New York City officials this week announced plans to divest nearly $4 billion in pension funds from fossil-fuel companies. Mayor Bill de Blasio and Comptroller Scott Stringer said two of the city’s five pension funds — the New York City Employees’ Retirement System and the New York City Teachers’ Retirement System — voted to approve the move, which the city calls one of the largest such divestments in history.
The New York City Board of Education Retirement System is expected to follow the other two in the coming weeks. Retirement funds representing the New York City police and fire departments did not take part in the divestment. NYCERS and NYCTRS, which manage $77.4 billion and $91.4 billion, respectively, are the two largest pension funds.
The move makes good on de Blasio and Stringer’s 2018 pledge to examine the financial risks posed by the pension funds’ exposure to fossil fuels. At the time they pledged to double investments in renewable energy. While they announced that the divestment will likely take five years, the city is already on track to meet its goal of doubling to 2% its investment in climate solutions.
“Climate change is the fight of our lives, and we must face it head-on with everything we’ve got — for our planet, for our children, and for our retirees,” Stringer said in a statement. “Since we announced our first-in-the-nation divestment goal, the urgent environmental and financial risks of climate change have only grown more clear. New York City is leading the way forward because we know the future is on the side of clean energy — not big polluters.”Agenda – NYC Announces $4 Billion Fossil-Fuel Divestment