BREAKING: New York State’s $226 billion pension fund will divest from the riskiest oil and gas companies and decarbonize by 2040. 

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Thank Comptroller DiNapoli for committing to #DivestNY

After years of people powered campaigning, New York State’s Common Retirement Fund, valued at over $226 billion, has decided to divest from the riskiest fossil fuel companies.  

In addition, State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has announced a plan that will decarbonize the fund by 2040. This is a historic moment — New York State is the largest pension fund in the world to take this kind of bold and comprehensive climate action.  

Will you send a note to thank Comptroller Tom DiNapoli for his climate leadership?

Thank New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli for committing to #DivestNY!


Thank you for showing bold leadership with your recently announced climate plan for New York State’s $226 billion pension fund to review and divest from its riskiest oil and gas companies. Your systematic review of all fossil fuel companies and commitment to divest from those that fail to have adequate transition and climate plans, plus your commitment to decarbonize the pension fund by 2040, are the boldest steps yet taken by a pension fund and make you a true climate hero.

As we mark the 5th anniversary of the Paris Climate Accord, action from pension funds, banks and other financial institutions is critical to getting our world on a path toward stopping the climate crisis. The world needs more climate finance champions like you to lead, and we hope you will urge your colleagues in the finance world to follow your lead.

Thank you again for your leadership. I look forward to celebrating your ongoing fossil fuel reviews, divestment actions and your progress toward full decarbonization of the New York State pension fund.

Thank New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli for committing to #DivestNY!

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People powered victory!  The DivestNY campaign was launched in the months following Superstorm Sandy devastating New York State. A multigenerational, multiracial coalition was built out to advocate for divestment of New York’s city and state pension funds from fossil fuels.

In 2018, we secured our first big win, with New York City announcing its 5 year plan to divest the city pension funds from fossil fuels and sue Big Oil for climate related damages and costs.

Now in 2020, we achieved a big victory with the announcement that the New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is moving forward with a bold plan to divest the $226 billion state pension fund from the riskiest oil and gas companies and decarbonize within 2 decades. This is the largest pension fund in the world to take this level of comprehensive climate action including divestment. Ever. 

  • Share this news on social media using this social media share pack
  • Read this 2012-2020 timeline of the campaign
  • Check out the full media release by the DivestNY Coalition about the New York State Comptroller’s climate action and divestment plan.
  • Check out this background document for more detailed info.

Questions:

Why New York?

The world is watching New York.  New York is one of the world’s financial capitals and home of some of the USA’s largest pension funds. We can’t keep investing in the industries of the past, as we seek to build a better, more just future. With New York stepping into its climate leadership and inspiring a nation, the state pension fund sets a high bar of action that challenges other pension funds and financial institutions to match.

What are details of Comptroller DiNapoli’s Climate Action Plan

  • Review of all fossil fuel companies owned by the Fund, assessing them against minimum standards which have realistic transition plans to get out of fossil fuel production and transportation and are Paris Climate accord aligned. Those that don’t meet these standards will be divested. Sectors to be reviewed include tar sands, shale oil and gas, integrated majors, midstream producers, service and pipeline companies. The reviews will be completed within 4 years.
  • Decarbonization of the complete Fund portfolio by 2040 with interim steps. Enhanced engagement with all Fund companies to ensure they have plans to meet this goal. Commitment to vote against directors of companies that do not have adequate climate action plans.
  • Rigorous reporting including annual reports and published updated each time a review is started and concluded. Increased staffing to implement this plan.

Full details on the comprehensive climate action plan including divestment can be found here in this background document.

How much $ are we talking?

The total  value of the New York  State is more than $226 billion, making it one of the largest pension funds in the United States and world. Historically, the State Common Retirement Fund had more than $13 billion invested in fossil fuel companies like Exxon, Chevron and dozens of fracking, tar sands companies. Now it will be moving over the next 4 years to review all of these investment and divest from those it determines to be the riskiest for failing to have realistic transition plans to get out of fossil fuel production and not being Paris Climate Accord-aligned.

What is fossil fuel divestment anyway?

Read more about it here on 350.org’s divestment page

What’s wrong with the fossil fuel industry?

We all live in the fossil fuel era, but it needs to come to an end, and soon — before more irreparable damage is done to our world. Fossil fuels are the main driver of climate change, and behind other major catastrophes such as oil spills, air pollution, contaminated drinking water from fracking, etc. Moreover, companies like ExxonMobil are facing lawsuits by dozens of jurisdictions for having deliberately misled the public, shareholders and governments over climate change science and risk for decades to protect their profits and driving climate change related costs and damages.


#DivestNY Updates

Timeline of the #DivestNY Campaign

From 2012 to present, the DivestNY campaign has been an unstoppable, people-powered force to achieve full fossil fuel divestment by New York’s state and city pension funds.

1100+ Academics call for New York legislators to #DivestNY

Academics, scientists and researchers from universities, colleges and institutes across New York and around the United States have written to New York State legislators , including Governor Andrew Cuomo, asking them to urgently pass the Fossil Fuel Divestment Act.

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