Advertisement
Environment

NYC public pension funds will commit $50 billion in renewable energy by 2035, de Blasio says

Advertisement

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

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

Both the mayor and City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer created the proposal, which they said would ensure that New York leads the way by establishing a net-zero emissions goal within its public pension funds.

“I want to thank the trustees that have always believed the future of our city is making sure we have a clean and safe environment,” Stringer said. “We don’t have 30 years 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 of fossil fuel reserve owners. This divestment is expected to be completed 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 renewables and that’s where we are focused. We are running out of time, we have to do everything and anything.”

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said the divestment is even more important in light of the devastation wrought across Queens and the city in September from the torrential, flooding rains of Hurricane Ida’s remnants.

“Queens knows more than most the dramatic and devastating impacts of climate change, especially our families who are still picking up the pieces and grieving loved ones in the wake of Hurricane Ida’s historic flooding,” Richards said. “The actions we take as a society today will define what our city looks like tomorrow and for generations to come, and we support today’s ambitious commitment to a net zero emissions goal in our public pension funds.”

Bronx/Queens Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez aloo lauded the city’s latest commitment to combating climate change. 

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

The participating trustees of New York City Employees’ Retirement System (NYCERS), Teachers Retirement System (TRS) and Board of Education Retirement System (BERS) will be making these investments in renewable energy. 

Ocasio-Cortez said it’s important that teachers and city workers feel confident that their public pensions are not contributing to the climate crisis. 

“I want us to celebrate this decision. It is a major structural change in our energy investment,” she remarked. “We should challenge other cities, states and countries to do the same because using our public investment to divest from the fossil fuel industry is going to be one of the critical tipping points in making sure that we have the structural investments necessary to transition to renewable and clean energy.”

Advertisement
Julia Moro
Share
Published by
Julia Moro

Recent Posts

NYPD releases doggone good calendar for the New Year

Get ready to count down those dog days of 2022 with the latest NYPD canine…

December 7, 2021

Homeless man charged with attempted murder of another homeless man at Cooper Avenue shelter

A homeless man is in custody for allegedly stabbing another homeless man multiple times at…

December 7, 2021
Advertisement

Ho-ho-ho or no-no-no: Either way, SantaCon and its boozy bingefest returns to Manhattan this weekend

Ready or not, Santacon — New York City's annual "non-politcal, nonsensical" gathering of boozy Santas…

December 7, 2021

Oscar winners assemble for climate warning comedy ‘Don’t Look Up’

Director Adam McKay has assembled an all-star cast brimming with Oscar winners to give a…

December 7, 2021

Lander names executive leadership team at incoming comptroller’s office

New York City Comptroller-elect Brad Lander announced on Dec. 6 the appointment of his executive…

December 7, 2021

Road congestion returns, but work-from-home leaves downtowns empty

Empty roads and cleaner air at the start of the pandemic have given way to…

December 7, 2021
Advertisement