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The July convention of the 1.7 million member American Federation of Teachers urged that its members’ retirement assets be divested “from all corporations or other entities that extract, transport, trade or otherwise contribute to the production of coal, oil and gas” and that they those funds be reinvested in “projects that benefit displaced workers and frontline communities.” AFT members participate in pension plans with assets totaling $5.8 trillion, of which an estimated $255 billion is invested in fossil fuel corporations. The resolution also called for the giant higher education pension organization TIAA to similarly divest from fossil fuel corporations and “to reinvest those funds in socially responsible, climate-positive projects.”

The AFT’s official Climate Justice Task Force was assigned to implement the resolution.

Following the convention, a network of AFT and National Education Association members interested in organizing in their unions and schools for green demands has begun meeting. LNS’s staff members Liz Ratzloff and Oren Kadosh are helping to coordinate the network and its meetings. If you’re an educator interested in getting involved, email  liz@labor4sustainability.org.