This post was written by Beta Coronel, 350.org US Reinvestment Coordinator.
Today we’re launching an exciting new divestment push: together, a broad coalition of faith, health, business, and climate justice organizations are calling on New York’s comptrollers to divest the city and state’s massive pension funds from fossil fuels, and reinvest in just solutions to the climate crisis.
There’s never been a better moment for New York to divest. We’re approaching the 4-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, and the Paris agreement will officially take effect in just a few weeks. Right now our comptrollers are falling short in addressing climate change — an existential threat to New Yorkers — and we need way more ambition.
New York boasts among the largest pension funds in the nation, one of the most iconic cities, and the financial capital of the world. If New York were to divest, it would send a powerful message that the age of fossil fuels is over.
Oil giant Exxon is among the funds’ largest investments, and we know its executives lied about climate change since the 1970’s — our own NY attorney general is investigating them. New York’s comptrollers must choose a side: fossil fuel companies still recklessly and knowingly perpetrating the climate crisis, or the people.
More than 600 universities, faith groups, pension funds, and other institutions have already divested from fossil fuels. Here in New York, local activists have made headway pushing Comptroller Stringer on coal divestment, but it’s time to take the next step.
Tell New York’s comptrollers to divest the city and state’s $350 billion pension funds from all fossil fuels. In a few days, State Senator Liz Krueger will meet with representatives from Comptroller DiNapoli’s office to discuss divestment, and we’ll make sure they get your message.
We’ll be ramping up this push after the election, but as a divestment supporter, we wanted to give you the chance to join in early. There will be lots of ways to help on the road ahead, and we’ll keep you updated with how best to plug in. We know it’ll take a lot more than one petition or one meeting to win — it’ll take a movement.
Let’s do this,