In the next five years, New York state’s pension fund will divest from fossil fuel. Thomas DiNapoli, the state comptroller, announced that the state will sell all its fossil fuel stocks along with all shares from climate change contributors by 2040.
This is being hailed as “the most aggressive divestment target set by any U.S. pension fund by a decade,” EcoWatch reported. New York is one of the largest fossil fuel investors with $226 billion in assets.
“We’ll look back on this as a big moment in the story of the fossil fuel divestment movement,” said Richard Brooks, a campaign coordinator with 350, a climate organization that’s helped pioneer the divestment movement.
The state’s plan is the “first pension fund in the U.S. to set a 2040 carbon-free target for all parts of its portfolio,” Earther reported.
DiNapoli, who resisted calls to divest from fossil fuels, said it was in part because of the investment returns, which is in turn relied upon by millions of workers. But his decision to divest came at the need to protect the pension fund’s long-term value, EcoWatch reported.
“Divestment is a last resort, but it is an investment tool we can apply to companies that consistently put our investment’s long-term value at risk,” DiNapoli said.