NYC pumping $6 billion in pension funds toward climate change investments

New York goes green
The city’s investing more than $6 billion in pension funding toward boosting the green economy.
Photo via Getty Images

New York City’s making a big bet on the eco-economy, investing more than $6 billion in pension funds toward companies working to help the world adapt to climate change.

The trustees of the city’s pension funds approved the major shift in investment toward climate change solutions and away from fossil fuels. In recent years, the city divested $4 billion from the oil, gas, coal and other fossil fuel industries with an eye toward addressing the effects of global warming.

“The climate crisis must be met head-on and from all fronts. This multi-billion investment in green tech and divestment from fossil fuels is a winning combination for our planet, our city and our pensioners,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday. “Our pension trustees are meeting the moment by doubling investments and securing a greener future for New York City.”

De Blasio, City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and other trustees in the city pensions agreed on March 19 to direct pension fund investments toward “companies that generate revenue from climate mitigation, adaptation and resiliency.” That includes companies devoted to renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable waste management, green buildings and pollution prevention.

It triples a September 2018 goal of investing $2 billion in pension dollars toward the green economy over the following three years. 

The Bureau of Asset Management within the city Comptroller’s office has identified the public equity investments in which the more than $6 billion in funds will be invested across the portfolio of the five pension funds: the New York City Employees’ Retirement System, the Teachers’ Retirement System, the New York City Fire Pension Fund; and the Board of Education Retirement System.