Action

Attend the California’s state pension fund (CalPERS) Investment Committee Meeting to support divestment from fossil fuels.

We are partnering with Fossil Free California (FFCA) on this action. See FFCA’s CalPERS Watch page and RSVP to Sara Theiss.

Meeting Information

Monday March 18 at 9am.
CalPERS Auditorium Lincoln Plaza North, 400 P Street, Sacramento - a short walk from the train station.

Although many pension funds, local governments, insurance companies, and municipal, state and even national governments have committed to divesting in fossil fuels, CalPERS has not taken action. The March 18 meeting will include a presentation from the CalPERS Investment Committee on its strategy. FFCA is asking CalPERS members and CA taxpayers to attend and make brief statements supporting divestment.

CalPERS members will be directly affected by investment strategies, while taxpayers may be asked to make up the difference if pension funds fall due to increasingly risky fossil fuel investments.
Individuals may speak for up to three minutes during the public comment period regarding the science, climate, economic and/or ethical reasons to divest. FFCA will provide additional information in the 1-2 weeks before the meeting. For that information or any questions, contact Sara Theiss at 415.244.9570 or STheiss@FossilFreeCA.org.

Background

According to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, we must make “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society,” within the next 12 years, to hold global warming to moderate levels and avert climate catastrophe. Halting the flow of money toward exploration and extraction will help to slow global temperature rise and save vulnerable ecosystems from environmental damage. The global divestment campaign is already impacting the fossil fuel industry’s bottom line.

In addition to the environmental and moral reasons for keeping fossil fuels in the ground, investment in the shrinking fossil fuel industry is increasingly risky and leaves portfolios vulnerable to volatility and losses. Over the past three and five years, respectively, global stock indexes without fossil fuel holdings have outperformed otherwise identical indexes that include fossil fuel companies. Fiscal, political, regulatory and litigation risks are growing; while volatility and the downward trajectory of returns are expected to continue.

References

Fossil Free California’s CalPERS Watch
Bill McKibbin: Why We Need to Keep 80% of Fossil Fuels in the Ground
IEEFA: The Financial Case for Fossil Fuel Divestment
The Guardian: A Beginner’s Guide to Fossil Fuel Divestment
The Guardian: At Last, Divestment Is Hitting the Fossil Fuel Industry Where It Hurts (Bill MCKibbin)