New York State
New York State’s two pension funds represent $175 billion. New York State’s Common Retirement Fund is the third largest pension fund in the country, just behind California’s CalPERS and CalPERS. The fund’s list of investments is publicly available.
In 2015, NYS had $5 billion, 3% of its total fund, invested in the top 200 fossil fuel companies:
Exxon is NYS’ third largest company holding:
- $1.17 billion in domestic and int’l equity asset class = 1.2% of this asset class
- $213 million in global fixed income asset class
NYS heavily invests in Chevron:
- $565 million in domestic and int’l equity asset class
- $161 million in global fixed income asset class
Investment in renewable companies are low compared to fossil fuel companies
- Investments identified as renewable energy or wind or solar: $126,453,427
- Investments in the top 200 fossil fuel companies: $5.33 billion
- Investments in the greater fossil fuel sector: $12.51 billion
- investments in renewable energy are 1% of investments in fossil fuels
Coal investments (2015 holdings)
- $577 million invested in 65 of the top 100 coal companies, about 5 times as much as renewable energy investments
NY State owns Dakota Access Pipeline companies
We know of 6 pipeline and infrastructure companies that are part of the partnership behind the Dakota Access Pipeline. The NY State pension own 4 of them to the tune of $400 million. These are the builders of the pipeline, the ones who own it and will reap the financial rewards if it is profitable.
The NY State pension plans owns:
$15 million of Enbridge
$93 million of Marathon Petroleum
$90 million of Energy Transfer Partners
$209 million Phillips 66
A March 2016 report found that the NYSCRF lost a staggering $5.3 billion from its holdings in fossil fuel companies. That loss would have made each of the fund’s 1.1 million members more than $4,500 richer, and could have helped the state cover nearly 12% of the costs following Superstorm Sandy.
The fund is wholly controlled by State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, an elected official. Comptroller DiNapoli prefers remaining invested in fossil fuel companies and attempting to engage their boards to act on climate despite engagement having no track record of success on climate. There has been no significant action on climate change from shareholder advocacy over the last two decades.
New York City
Representing 715,000 members, retirees and their beneficiaries, New York City’s five pension funds represent a total of $175 billion. The funds have more than $3 billion invested in fossil fuel companies according to 2016 data on their holdings. .
The five New York City pension funds include:
- The Teacher’s Retirement System of the City of New York (TRS)
- The New York City Employee Retirement System (NYCERS)
- The New York City Police Pension Fund
- The New York City Fire Department Pension Funds
- The Board of Education Retirement System of the City of New York
The New York City Employee Retirement System has approximately:
- $320 million invested in Exxon
- $169 million invested in Chevron
The Teacher’s Retirement System of the City of New York has:
- $68 million invested in Exxon
- $34 million invested in Chevron
Both the TRS and NYCERS have opened the door to divestment by completing divestment of their investments of thermal coal companies. They have not acted on full fossil fuel divestment.
A February 2016 report found that the Teacher’s Retirement System of the City of New York lost approximately $135 million from its holdings in fossil fuel companies in one year alone.
New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, an elected official, manages the pension funds staff including the Chief Investment Officer. He sits on 4 of the 5 boards. Each pension board has a different makeup, composed of teachers, city worker union representatives, NY City Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYC borough presidents.