New York City’s largest pension funds have voted to divest from companies related to fossil fuels. The $4 billion divestment is one of the largest in the country and the first time a major city has committed to complete divestment of fossil fuel holdings.
Union leaders representing workers whose pensions are in the funds strongly endorsed the decision. Henry Garrido, Executive Director, District Council 37, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO, said, “As NYCERS (members of the New York City Employees’ Retirement System) Trustee and Executive Director of District Council 37, New York City’s largest municipal union, I am proud to vote today with Mayor de Blasio, Comptroller Stringer, and my fellow NYCERS Trustees in support of divestiture from fossil fuel stocks.”
Teamsters Local 237 President Gregory Floyd said, “We at Teamsters Local 237 have concluded that, under the current proposal, we can confidently support a vote to divest from fossil fuel holdings in the NYCERS portfolio, and most importantly do so without an adverse effect on the pension fund.” United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew said, “The world economy and our pension investments need to focus on the future, while fossil fuels are the energy sources of the past.”
The divestment represents the culmination of an eight-year campaign by #Divest NY, an alliance of more than 40 labor, environmental and other groups that has now won partial or complete divestment from the largest New York City and State pension funds.