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Blog

May 15, 2018

The U.S. Department of Labor and Chief Investment Officers (CIOs) of some of the largest U.S. pensions funds are warning against making divestment decisions based strictly on social issues, emphasizing that it can violate fiduciary responsibility while having little to no corporate impact. The Labor Department, which oversees retirement plan funds, recently released new guidelines …

May 4, 2018

In another defeat for the ailing divestment movement, Grinnell College’s student newspaper reports the school’s Divestment Task Force is recommending the Board of Trustees reject costly fossil fuel divestment, saying the move will lead to “a very substantial level of investment and return risk that could have serious long-term consequences that adversely affect the mission …

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 …