Campaign to Divest New York State

The Fossil Fuel Divestment Act has been reintroduced this session! The new bill number is S.4596 in the Senate and A.3712 in the Assembly.
Demand an end to fossil fuel investments!
Assembly Switchboard (518 455-4100) and State Senate (518 455-2800).
Follow us @ Fossil Free New York State
#DivestNY


Join New Yorkers Demanding An End To Fossil Fuel Investments

350NYC joins partners from around the state demanding divestment of the state’s $180 billion pension funds from fossil fuels. We demand a plan to divest the top 200 oil, gas and coal companies within a five-year time frame.

Wherever you live in the state, your voice is needed. Are you on the side of fossil fuel industry, or are you on the side of New Yorkers ready for a transition to the safe, clean, renewable energy economy of the future?

What can you do?

For over two years, 350 NYC and partner groups have been asking Comptroller DiNapoli to use his power as “sole trustee” to divest the State and Local Common Retirement Fund.  Add your name to our petition.

In the meantime, Democrats in the legislature have introduced legislation that would require the state to divest. Taking the lead, Senator Liz Krueger and Assembly Member Felix Ortiz introduced the Fossil Fuel Divestment Act (S5873/A8011) in June of 2015.  Divestment supporters are mobilizing to obtain co-sponsors and put pressure on representatives ahead of the 2016 legislative session.

Have your representatives pledged support for the Divestment Act?  A list of co-sponsors and contact information can be found at the end of this page.

Why Fossil Fuel Divestment?

By divesting, we reduce the political power of the fossil industry in our state and the world. When constituents support divestment, they force their elected officials to choose a side and take concrete action against the fossil fuel industry. The state’s investments must be aligned with a strategy to fight climate change. Divestment, reinvestment, and shutting down fossil fuel infrastructure are all part of the overall goal of the climate movement: Keep It In The Ground.

The global fossil fuel divestment movement is the fastest growing divestment movement ever, and as of December 2015 over $3.4 trillion in funds have committed to go fossil free.  It is time for New York State, a leader in climate and finance, to commit to fossil fuel divestment within five years and a plan for re-investing in renewable infrastructure and other projects supporting strong, healthy communities.

Moving a portion of the money is not enough. It is imperative that New York State make a clear, strong commitment to eliminate fossil fuel investments.

Follow at @FossilFreeNY and on facebook at Fossil Free New York State. 

CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVES!

Current Sponsors Count:
Senate: Krueger, Hoylman, Hamilton, Parker, Perkins, Comrie, Dilan, Montgomery, Serrano
Assembly: Ortiz, Mosley, Fahy, Simon, Thiele

Find out who your assembly member is and your senator.

Please contact your state representatives to ask them to co-sponsor the bill and to pledge their support (S5873/A8011 A). It is time for New York State to break its ties with the fossil fuel industry and commit fully to a fossil free future.

We want to hear from you! Get in touch with 350NYC’s state divestment team by writing to fossilfreenys@gmail.com and ask how you can stay connected or mobilize support in your district.

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NEW: Press Release, Dec 4, 2015.

Climate activists call on State to Fully Divest Pension Fund From Fossil Fuels.

For More Info: Mark Dunlea, 518 860-3725/ Nathan Schumer, 253-350-5200

Groups say that Comptroller DiNapoli’s commitment to increase sustainable investment is a good first step, but  the state needs to divest its pension funds from fossil fuels.

Today in Paris, during the United Nations Climate Change Conference, New York State Comptroller DiNapoli announced a new sustainable investment strategy for the New York Common Investment Retirement Fund. The central piece of DiNapoli’s strategy is the creation of a $2 billion low carbon index fund. DiNapoli projects that this index will reduce the emissions profile of this sum by up to 70 percent. Much of the reduction is expected to come from ending investments in coal. This $2 billion index will join an existing program to invest in various green initiatives, which has $3 billion in total, bringing New York State’s sustainable investment profile to $5 billion.

Climate change activists around the state point out that this largely maintains the state’s present investment in fossil fuel companies. They say the state needs to go much further in divesting its pension funds from fossil fuels.

“Shifting some funds to low-carbon investments is not enough. With the world watching COP21 to see if we will change course of history, there will be no true solutions to climate change while world governments and institutions continue to invest in the fossil fuel industry. It is time for the State of New York to join the global divestment movement and commit to removing all investments in the top 200 fossil fuel companies. Investors representing $3.4 trillion in funds have already made this commitment and New York State is lagging behind responsible investors around the world,” said Amy Miller, a member of 350 Brooklyn who is in now in Paris for the climate talks.

Steve Knight, a fellow at Greenfaith and a leader of Fossil Free New York said, “This action only accounts for approximately 2.8 percent of the state’s investment portfolio. Even low carbon funds continue to retain some exposure to fossil fuel companies, so it’s difficult to see how this constitutes a long term solution to the financial risks associated with climate change.”

Activists argue that exposure to the fossil fuel sector constitutes a systemic risk for the New York Common Investment Retirement Fund.  “Fossil fuel investments are already too risky – California pension funds lost some $5 Billion on fossil investments according to recent reports. As a recent NY State retiree, I consider it the Comptroller’s fiduciary duty to divest from all fossil fuel stocks in an orderly way, and shift the investments to the clean energy growth industries: solar, wind, energy efficiency and storage,” said Mark Schaeffer of Capital Region 350 Climate Action

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