New York’s public pension funds to commit $ 50 billion to renewables by 2035, de Blasio says


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Mayor Bill de Blasio and directors of three of the city’s pension funds on Thursday announced their commitment to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions in their investment portfolios by 2040.

The goal is to double investments in climate change solutions such as renewable energy and green real estate to more than $ 8 billion by 2025 and to reach more than $ 37 billion. investments in climate solutions by 2035 in the three funds. In total, the mayor hopes to reach $ 50 billion in total pension fund investments in climate solutions by 2035.

Mayor and City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer both created the proposal, which they said would ensure New York City leads the way in establishing a goal of net zero emissions in its public pension funds.

“I want to thank the administrators who have always believed that the future of our city is to ensure that we have a clean and safe environment,” said Stringer. “We’re not 30 anymore, the timeline is 8 years at best. On behalf of my children, this is a very exciting day for me personally as we move the needle. “

In January, the trustees voted to divest approximately $ 4 billion in securities from owners of fossil fuel reserves. This sale should be finalized within five years.

“The last thing you want to do is invest in industries that are going to have to leave their assets in the ground – that’s the fossil fuel industry,” de Blasio said. “They are the past. The future is renewable energies and this is where we are focusing. We are running out of time, we have to do anything and everything.

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said the divestment is even bigger in light of the devastation that hit Queens and the city in September from torrential downpours and flooding the remnants of the hurricane Ida.

“Queens knows the dramatic and devastating effects of climate change better than anyone, especially our families who continue to pick up the pieces and mourn their loved ones in the wake of the historic flooding from Hurricane Ida,” said Richards. “The actions we take as a company today will define what our city will look like tomorrow and for generations to come, and we support today’s ambitious commitment to a goal of net zero emissions in our funds. public pensions. “

Bronx / Queens MP Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez praised the city’s latest pledge to tackle climate change.

“Today’s announcement really shows that a lot of climate action is not happening in Washington, but in New York City and at state and local levels across the country,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

Participating directors of the New York City Employees’ Retirement System (NYCERS), Teachers Retirement System (TRS) and Board of Education Retirement System (BERS) will make these investments in renewable energy.

Ocasio-Cortez said it was important for teachers and municipal workers to believe their public pensions are not contributing to the climate crisis.

“I want us to celebrate this decision. This is a major structural change in our energy investment, ”she underlined. “We should challenge other cities, states and countries to do the same, as using our public investment to divest from the fossil fuel industry will be one of the critical tipping points to ensure we have structural investments necessary for the transition to renewable energies. and clean energy.

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