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Blog

April 13, 2018

This week administrators at NYU and Middlebury College stood their ground against student activists demanding fossil fuel divestment.  In both instances their reasons were simple and straightforward; fossil fuel divestment will decrease investment returns and damage the endowment, a realization the Chief Investment Officer for the New York City Retirement System came to this week …

April 12, 2018

While New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio continues to recklessly push for divestment of New York City’s public pension funds, the Chief Investment Officer of the New York City Retirement System (NYCRS) is throwing cold water on the idea.  Yesterday, during a Pension Bridge Conference panel discussion, Scott Evans, New York City deputy comptroller …

April 10, 2018

For the second time in recent memory, activists are hailing actions taken by the University of California (UC) system as “divestment” when in reality all that was announced is a portfolio reallocation.  Case in point: a tweet by Bill McKibben that read, “Um, the giant Univ of California system, already divested from coal and tar …

March 30, 2018

News articles emerged this week reporting that Harvard Board of Overseers member, Kat Taylor, is calling for the University to divest from fossil fuel holdings, with Reuters calling the public rebuke a “rare” move. Taylor also posted an opinion piece in the Harvard Crimson outlining her position. Worth noting, the Board of Overseers does not …

March 23, 2018

A committee of the Vermont State Colleges System (VSC) quietly voted last month to recommend partial divestment of its holdings from fossil fuels, flying in the face of numerous rejections from other Vermont institutions and the state’s treasurer.  All the more concerning, the system is facing imminent layoffs and budget cuts at several of the …

March 19, 2018

This week, divestment activists at Cambridge University responded with outrage when a leaked draft of the University’s own “Divestment Working Group” report restated its rejection of the misguided policy. According to the Financial Times: “Cambridge university is planning to reject divesting its £6.3bn endowment fund from oil companies despite huge pressure from students and staff …

March 12, 2018

Chicago’s Treasurer is advocating for the city’s $7 billion portfolio to focus on Environmental, Social, and Governance initiatives and “phase out” investments in fossil fuels. In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Treasurer Kurt Summers said he is hoping to overhaul the city’s investment strategy to make sure the portfolio invests in companies with ESG …

February 15, 2018

In this week’s State of the City address, Mayor Bill de Blasio touted the city’s effort to divest, stating: “We are not going to ignore this crisis; we are going to address it ourselves. And while we take positive steps to protect our Earth, we’re also going after the big corporations who caused this mess …

February 7, 2018

A recent nine-page report published in Ecological Economics uses shaky methodology to claim that fossil fuel divestment would not lead to financial costs for a portfolio, alleging instead that energy stocks provide “limited” diversification benefits and “do not outperform other stocks on a risk-adjusted basis.” This conclusion, of course, is in stark contrast to the …

February 7, 2018

During this year’s New York State Employee Conference one message came through loud and clear: New York State public employees do not want their pension fund to bear the cost of a misguided fossil fuel divestment scheme.   Lucky for them, their pensions are under the watchful eye of State Comptroller, Tom DiNapoli, who – in …

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