November 30, 2017 Read More →

Experts Resoundingly Urge Fossil Fuel Divestment at Public Advocates’ Public Hearing On Climate Change

At today’s public hearing, over 50 speakers, some from as far away as Standing Rock and the Alberta tar sands region of Canada, put forward ample scientific, financial, and moral arguments for New York elected officials to divest from fossil fuels, as an essential means of mitigating the climate crisis.

Just before the hearing, over 100 people rallied outside the Borough of Manhattan Community College calling for New York City to lead on climate, starting with immediate divestment of New York City’s pension funds. Frontline activists spoke to the impacts of climate change and fossil fuel extraction on their communities. New York advocates specifically called on Comptroller Stringer to be the climate champion he says he is and authorize divestment immediately.

Fletcher Harper, Executive Director of GreenFaith said, “The time is long past when it was morally acceptable to profit from the fossil fuel industry; it is no overstatement to say that this industry threatens the balance of life on Earth. In the name of life itself, we implore Mayor deBlasio, Comptroller Stringer, and the trustees of the Pension Boards to divest from fossil fuels and to reinvest in a 100% renewable energy future.”

Tom Sanzillo, Director of Finance, Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, Former NY first deputy state comptroller said, “Investments in fossil fuels made a lot of money for New York City’s pension fund. This is no longer the case. The City and its pension funds have no choice but to act to protect themselves. Investments in fossil fuels today come wrapped in red flag warnings. The way forward is fossil free.”

Thomas Kuh, PhD, former Executive Director, MSCI said, “The divestment movement has helped focus attention on the contributions of oil, gas, and coal companies to climate change and the urgency of transitioning to a low carbon economy. It has also compelled many pension funds, foundations, and endowments to consider the potential risks of owning fossil fuel companies and opportunities associated with companies that provide solutions to climate change. This is a critical conversation in the absence of proactive public policy on climate.”

Carroll Muffett, President, Center for International Environmental Law said, “ExxonMobil and other major carbon producers face a rising tide of investigation and litigation in courts across the country and around the world—including by New York’s own Attorney General.  This litigation poses growing risks not only for the carbon producers themselves, but for their investors—including the New York City Retirement System. New Yorkers should rightly ask why their public pension funds continue investing billions of dollars in the fossil fuels that are driving the climate crisis even as the financial, legal and public risks of those investments continue to mount.”

David Levine, Executive Director, American Sustainable Business Council said, “More and more businesses understand the impact of climate change. All we need to do is look at the economic impact of Hurricane Sandy and now the over $90 billion of damage to Houston and another $90 billion in Puerto Rico. Our message for decision makers is to look at the full negative economic impacts of a fossil fuel economy. Responsible businesses call for pension funds, investors and legislators to transition investments and subsidies away from fossil fuels, and boost investment in clean economy solutions. Smart investment will enable us to protect the environment and our communities as we grow business and our economy.”

Experts Resoundingly Urge Fossil Fuel Divestment at Public Advocates’ Public Hearing On Climate Change

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