New Yorkers have issued a challenge to their state and city officials to divest New York’s combined $350 billion in pension funds from fossil fuels.
According to global divestment initiative 350.org and Divest New York, a new challenge has been issued to New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer and New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli to divest New York’s combined $350 billion in pension funds from fossil fuels, and tp reinvest the money into climate solutions. Eighteen organizations and individuals from New York, across a broad spectrum of society, sent a letter (PDF) to the comptrollers requesting “that the New York State and New York City pension funds fully divest from fossil fuels.”
A similar petition has been set up by Divest New York so that New Yorkers can lend their voice to the cause.
Both the letter and accompanying petition are intended to highlight the importance of fossil fuel divestment as a means to stem climate change by pointing to the $63 billion in damages caused by Superstorm Sandy, which happened four years ago. The challenge to officials also points out news reported earlier this year that the New York State Common Retirement Fund has already lost over $5.3 billion over the last three years by remaining invested in fossil fuels.
“It is wrong for NY to invest our pension funds in fossil fuel companies which threaten the quality of life for our residents,” said Mark Dunlea, chair of the state divestment committee for 350NYC. “Decades of shareholder advocacy have proven ineffective to curb corporate misbehavior. We need Stringer and DiNapoli to step up and provide the leadership needed to position New York as a world leader in confronting climate change.”
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