NYC To Tackle Largest Fossil Fuels Divestment In The World

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Comptroller Scott Stringer announced on Monday that two of the cities pension funds will divest completely from any securities “related to fossil fuel companies”.

The city expects its total divestment to be around $4 billion—likely one of the largest divestments in the world.

The purpose of the divestment is to “address the significant financial and environmental risks that these fossil fuel holdings post to the funds and to our planet.”

Investing in fossil fuels isn’t just bad for the planet, it’s a bad investment, de Blasio shared in a press release. ““Our first-in-the-nation divestment is literally putting money where our mouth is when it comes to climate change. Divestment is a bold investment in our children and grandchildren, and our planet. I applaud the trustees, advocates and experts for their hard work, and I look forward to seeing more cities around the world join this call for change,” de Blasio said.

Oil company stocks had a tough year in 2020, as the sector largely gave way to tech stocks, which fared better throughout much of the pandemic months.

The two funds divesting from fossil fuels include the New York City Employees’ Retirement System (NYCERS) and New York City Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS), which voted today to approve the divestments. New York City Board of Education Retirement System (BERS) is planning to vote “imminently,” according to the press release.

The divestment is expected to be complete within five years, and the names of the company will be released after the sale of the targeted securities.

The city committed back in 2018 to completely divesting its major public pension funds from fossil fuel reserve companies.



By Julianne Geiger for

January 27, 2021