350NYC is working to get NYC and NY State to divest their pension funds from the fossil fuel industry. If you haven’t already, please sign the petition to divest NYC here. And the new petition to divest New York State here. If your organization would like to endorse our proposed city council resolution we ask that you sign the letter of endorsement below as a NYC community group or union in support of our effort.
This campaign is part of the global movement to divest from fossil fuels. The process of engaging your organization in a conversation to support this movement is an important part of the ongoing education needed to transition to a clean, renewable fuel economy. If you would like a speaker from 350NYC to come to your group please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re ready to endorse the NYC Fossil Fuel Divestment Resolution please have your organization fill out the electronic endorsement form at the bottom of this page. Or, you can download a pdf of the endorsement letter and send it to us at email@example.com.
PROPOSED NEW YORK CITY FOSSIL FUEL DIVESTMENT RESOLUTION:
Resolution calling on the boards of New York City’s and New York State’s pension funds to launch a policy of strategic divestment from publicly-traded fossil fuel companies.
Whereas, The climate crisis is a serious threat to current and future generations here in New York City and around the world; and
Whereas, The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report found that climate change is likely to cause costly disruption of human and natural systems throughout the world, including the melting of Arctic ice, a rise in ocean acidity, a rise in global mean surface temperatures, the retreat of glaciers, and an increase in extreme precipitation events, and a threat to global food supplies; and
Whereas, Almost every government around the world has agreed via the 2009 Copenhagen Accord that any warming above a 2º C (3.6º F) rise would be unsafe; and
Whereas, Humans can only emit approximately 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere to maintain this limit; and
Whereas, In 2007 the city of New York released PlaNYC which recognizes the long-term threat that global warming poses to New York City and sets a city-wide goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 30% by 2030 and that goal was again affirmed in the city’s 2011 PlaNYC; and
Whereas, In 2008, as part of PlaNYC, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg convened the New York City Panel on Climate Change, which issued a report in May 2010 finding that New York City is already experiencing a number of climate risks as a result of global warming, including heat waves, sea level rise and storm surge, and droughts and floods; and
Whereas, For purposes of this Resolution, a “fossil fuel company” shall be defined as any of the two hundred publicly-traded companies with the largest coal, oil and gas reserves as measured by the gigatons of carbon dioxide that would be emitted if the reserves were extracted and burned, as listed in the Carbon Tracker Initiative’s “Unburnable Carbon” report; and
Whereas, In its “Unburnable Carbon” report, the Carbon Tracker Initiative found that fossil fuel companies possess proven fossil fuel reserves that would release approximately 2,795 gigatons of carbon dioxide if they are burned, which is five times the amount that can be released without exceeding 2º C; and
Whereas, In its “Oil and Carbon Revisited” report, HSBC Global Research found that if global policy makers committed to not exceed 2º C of warming, “only a third of current fossil fuel reserves can be burned before 2050,” which would mean that the “potential value (of publicly traded fossil fuel companies) at risk could rise to 40-60% of market (capitalization);” and
Whereas, In its “Do the Investment Math: Building a Carbon-Free Portfolio” report, the Aperio Group investment management firm found that divesting all fossil fuel companies from a broad-market U.S. stock market index such as the Russell 3000 would increase “absolute portfolio risk by 0.0101%; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York understands that in no way shall this Resolution or the policies articulated thereunder supersede the boards of New York City’s and New York State’s pension funds’ fiduciary responsibilities to its members; and be it
Further Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls on the boards of New York City’s and New York State’s pension funds to review their investment portfolios to identify any holdings that include direct or indirect investments in fossil fuel companies; and be it
Further Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York urges the boards of New York City’s and New York State’s pension funds to immediately cease any new investments in fossil fuel companies or in commingled assets that include holdings in fossil fuel companies; and be it
Further Resolved, That, for any investments in commingled funds that are found to include fossil fuel companies, the Council of the City of New York urges the boards of New York City’s and New York State’s pension funds to contact the fund managers and request that the fossil fuel companies be removed from the funds; and be it
Further Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York urges the boards of New York City’s and New York State’s pension funds to ensure that within five years none of its directly held or commingled assets include holdings in fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds as determined by the Carbon Tracker list; and be it
Further Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York urges the boards of New York City’s and New York State’s pension funds to prepare a report on options for investing in opportunities that would mitigate or limit the effects of burning fossil fuels, such as renewable energy, clean technology, and sustainable communities, with an emphasis on investments that would support local projects and local jobs; and be it
Further Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York urges the boards of New York City’s and New York State’s pension funds to release quarterly updates, available to the public, detailing progress made towards full divestment.