January 29, 2020

350.org on New York Comptroller announcing coal divestment review

NEW YORK — Seven years after Superstorm Sandy hit and New Yorkers launched the demand for fossil fuel divestment, New York State Comptroller DiNapoli has finally begun to move on divestment of the $210 billion state pension fund. Today the Comptroller announced a review of 27 coal companies, several of which have declared bankruptcy, with a decision deadline of mid-February. If these coal companies are not able to meet a minimum threshold for transitioning away from coal production, the comptroller has indicated he will divest.

On this latest announcement, Dominique Thomas, New Yorker and 350.org Mid-Atlantic Regional Organizer, said: 

“This coal divestment announcement is all thanks to resilient and vigilant New Yorkers. DiNapoli is late to the game, with the writing on the wall for coal companies visible for years. He could have fulfilled his fiduciary duty by divesting from coal years ago, instead costing New Yorkers millions of dollars in lost returns as many of these companies have declared bankruptcy, withheld workers’ earned wages, and seen markets evaporate. In 2020, with the climate decade upon us, we need public officials who will kick into high gear for transformative actions at scale with the climate crisis. That’s why we’re hustling to pass the state divestment bill and do what the Comptroller is failing to: protect our pensions, planet, and communities.”

This most recent action follows on the New York State Fossil Fuel Divestment Act gaining more senate supporters with Senators Todd Kaminsky and Shelley Mayer joining as sponsors in the past week. To date 30 senators and 40 Assembly members are sponsoring the bill.

Last year, InfluenceMap supported by the #DivestNY coalition issued a report highlighting the state pension funds investments in coal companies, which total more than $1 billion. The fund owns and is responsible for the carbon footprint of 17.2 million tons of coal reserves, the equivalent annual carbon pollution from 6.6 million cars, greater than the emissions from the state of Connecticut.


Contact: Lindsay Meiman, lindsay@350.org, +1 (347) 460-9082