Baltimore pension funds move away from fossil fuels

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Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott signed a bill that requires the city’s three pension funds to divest from the fossil fuel industry, according to the nonprofit Maryland Matters news organization.

The bill’s sponsor, City Council Member Mark Conway, also introduced four new pieces of legislation aimed at tackling climate change. One resolution is that Baltimore aims to be carbon neutral by 2050, and a companion bill would require the city government to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, while establishing reporting requirements .

Another bill would align Baltimore with state goals of making half of the city’s vehicle fleet fully electric by 2030 and the entire fleet fully electric by 2040. The final proposal calls for Newly constructed buildings and additions to existing buildings owned or funded by the municipality government to keep up with new “cool” roofing requirements aimed at reducing the heat island effect in the city.

“Climate change is one of the existential problems of our time,” Conway said in a statement. “While federal and state governments hold the primary means to take the drastic measures that scientists say we need to limit warming, local governments also have a duty to step up.”

Baltimore’s three employee pension systems now have five years to divest themselves of fossil fuel companies listed on The Carbon Underground 200, an environmental organization that ranks the top 100 holders of publicly traded coal and oil and gas reserves in the world based on potential carbon emissions from their reported reserves.

“With the mayor’s signature, Baltimore will have joined a global movement to put our money where our mouth is and separate from businesses that are causing irreparable damage to our planet and its people,” environmental group Climate Safe Pension Network said. in a press release.

Today there will be a briefing to the Maryland General Assembly Joint Pension Committee regarding climate initiatives, and a briefing on the policies and procedures for investing in the climate risk of the pension and pension system. of State. The committee will also keep an overview of the legal and fiduciary obligations of the public retirement and retirement system.

Conway’s bill bundle was boosted by an August report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warning that scientists are observing changes in Earth’s climate in every region and across the climate system. The report also states that many of the observed changes in climate are unprecedented for thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of years. At the same time, he said, strong and sustained reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases would limit the damage.

“This is the last step, but by no means the last, of Baltimore city council’s efforts to address the climate crisis in any way possible,” Conway said. “No tool in the toolbox should be left untouched as we try to save our planet.”

Related stories:

Boston University joins Harvard to divest from fossil fuels

Georgetown is the latest university to commit to offloading fossil fuels – someday

Nearly 50 religious institutions opt out of fossil fuels

Tags: Baltimore, Brandon Scott, divest, fossil fuels, legislation, Mark Conway, mayor, pension fund


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