New York City is a global leader in the movement to divest from fossil fuels and invest in climate solutions, with among the most ambitious pension goals in the world. By committing to remove fossil fuel assets from investment portfolios and increasing assets in sustainable companies and projects, NYC recognizes the dangerous business models of fossil fuel companies. They not only emit planet-warming and health-harming pollution, but also have experienced lagging stock market performance and weak outlooks, putting pension fund trustees at risk of breaching their fiduciary duty.
The City’s commitments include:
- Divest major pension funds from fossil fuels by 2022
- Increase investments to $8 billion in climate change solutions – such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, and green real estate – by 2025
- Further ramp up investments in climate solutions to $50 billion by 2035
- Achieve net-zero portfolio emissions by 2040
In 2018, NYC became the first major city in the nation to commit to divesting its major pensions from fossil fuels as part of its comprehensive plan to address climate change and hold fossil fuel companies accountable. The divesting funds, with over $198 billion in total assets under management, are the largest municipal pension plans in the country.
Following years of due diligence, risk evaluation, and trustee engagement, in January 2021, the City announced that the funds voted to divest approximately $4 billion from fossil fuel securities – launching one of the largest divestments in the world. To build on this progress, the pensions then adopted a goal and plan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040, which is among the most ambitious net-zero portfolio targets globally.