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Blog

January 9, 2018

“The notion that we’re going to lead the fight on climate change by making the pension fund sell all their energy stocks to me seems like not the smartest strategy. We prefer to be an investor and we engage with companies. We would lose that leverage if we’re not at the table anymore as an …

January 4, 2018

Nearing the end of a dismal 2017, divestment activists made a last-ditch attempt to change the narrative—promoting a number of empty gestures as “victories” and portraying the divestment movement as growing in momentum.  The scoreboard, however, shows us otherwise. In reality, 2017 was another year of letdowns for divestment—with new rejections emerging from colleges across …

January 4, 2018

A new survey from financial research firm Spectrem Group finds pensioners are more focused on returns over political gestures like divestment and overly active shareholder engagement. According to the survey of over 3,000 pension fund members, 88 percent of national respondents agreed that their pension fund should be “focused on generating returns; it shouldn’t be …

January 3, 2018

UPDATE (1/3/18, 3:00 p.m. EST): Today’s State of the State Address made only one brief comment on divestment, when Gov. Cuomo stated: “We call to an end to any investment in fossil fuel related activities in the pension fund. The future of the environment, the future of the economy and future of our children is …

December 26, 2017

A new study just released by the Suffolk County Association of Municipal Employees (AME) raises serious concerns about proposals by New York political leaders to divest the state pension from fossil fuels. If the pension were to do so, the report finds that it would lose $2.8 billion over 20 years.  The report’s analysis found …

December 20, 2017

Just hours after announcements from Governor Cuomo pushing — and New York State Comptroller DiNapoli again not committing to – divestment, the New York City Comptroller’s Office released an announcement previewing future divestment action by the funds. The New York City Comptroller’s office is led by Scott Stringer on behalf of the city’s five public …

December 20, 2017

New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli — – the office in charge of running the state pension fund on behalf of over 1 million New Yorkers — responded last night to divestment calls from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week, once again noting that he does not have plans to divest. The Governor’s announcement …

December 19, 2017

This week, the Board of Administration of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) held its monthly meeting to discuss committee reports and initiatives underway, providing Twitter updates for the public throughout. One admission from the meeting: divestment goes strictly against the fund’s fiduciary duty to its members and beneficiaries. In addition to the $8.5 …

December 14, 2017

In an effort to align with pro-divestment advocates swirling around the One Planet Summit in Paris this week, the World Bank Group announced its intention to “no longer finance upstream oil and gas, after 2019.”  Like many divestment announcements before it, the seemingly strong statement is little more than an empty gesture. For starters, the …

December 12, 2017

Johns Hopkins University (JHU) just announced it is “divesting” from thermal coal, but with so many caveats included in the decision, one must wonder if the school will actually end up doing any divesting at all. The Board of Trustees voted last week to cease buying stocks and bonds of companies that “produce coal for …