By: Isaac Evans-Frantz, Action Corps NYC, @iefrantz
On behalf of Action Corps NYC‘s 5,800 supporters, I recently asked NYC comptroller Scott Stringer when he will act to divest NYC’s Pension Funds from fossil fuel holdings. I told Mr. Stringer that shareholder activism is not enough. He has already supported divestment of two of the five city pensions from coal and has commissioned a study of investments in other fossil fuels. It’s time to go further.
Now we need Stringer to divest NYC’s pension funds from all fossil fuel companies.
The hard-earned pensions of our public employees should not be invested an industry that is killing people. Rather, we should invest in renewable energy and the building out resilient communities, particularly amongst those that are bearing the brunt of climate disasters.
Twenty million people around the world are on the brink of starvation. Famines are human-made, products of weak infrastructure, poor governance, conflict, inequality.
Climate change is also part of the problem. Farmers are experiencing droughts in places like South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia, and Yemen. Global warming only worsens these sorts of climate problems. Hurricanes and flooding are affecting millions right now.
Often we have often acted alone in our environmental efforts – composting, recycling, even divesting our personal funds – but divestment is an example of wisely thinking about our collective impact. Divestment allows all of us to work together for massive change – which is exactly what we need right now. You don’t have to have money to participate in this campaign.
We must support frontline communities dealing with the impacts of climate change. Emergency response systems, irrigation systems, rural development, drought-resistant crops, and other interventions can help people adapt to the changing environment and build resilience. While we divest from the fossil fuel industry, we need to support these sorts of efforts. While least responsible for causing climate change, poor communities around the world experience its impact first and worst.
Action Corps NYC will keep speaking up, and marching, and lobbying. We will not be silent, and we will not turn our backs on our neighbors – both near and far – who bear the brunt of climate change.
Now is the time for us to lead boldly and to hold our leaders accountable in this big, beautiful world of ours.
Take action now: Call Comptroller Stringer and urge to #DivestNY