Dear Washingtonian,

Did you know that the Washington State Investment Board (WSIB), which manages the pension funds for tens of thousands of state and municipal employees and public school teachers, still has billions of dollars invested in fossil fuels?

The next WSIB meeting is September 21. Your voice can make a difference! Tell WSIB why you want them to divest from fossil fuels. Take 5 minutes to send an email to by 9:30 AM on September 20.  If you also want to comment in person or on Zoom, follow instructions at and register at least 24 hours in advance.

Some of the many reasons to divest our pensions from fossil fuels include:

  • Climate-related disasters that destroy lives are occurring at an increasing rate and with more intensity around the world. For example, wildfires and their deadly impacts are now a normal annual occurrence in Washington, all over North America, and have now reached tropical Hawaii. WSIB invests in funds that continue to promote and undertake fossil fuel development and expansion around the world.
  • WSIB, one of the largest pension funds in the U.S., will not consider climate risks in managing the over $180 billion of pension and trust funds.
  • Investment consultants for pension funds, with minimal if any input from climate scientists, have claimed that even a 2- 4.3°increase in global temperature will only have a minimal impact on their portfolios. Conventional economic literature has not included the science of global warming and is seriously at odds with the science
  • WSIB investments are putting people and the environment at risk and causing harm:

o   LNG plant in Texas

o   Puget Sound Energy’s Tacoma LNG plant

  • Fossil fuels have always been a volatile investment, but economic risks have skyrocketed in the past decade. The energy sector, which dominated the S&P 500 in the 1980’s with 29% of the market, is only 5% today. The MSCI All World Index (ACWI) did better when excluding fossil fuels than when including them over the past 12 years
  • The International Energy Agency (IEA) concludes that the world’s energy needs are covered by existing oil and gas reserves. We don’t need new investment in oil and gas. Companies that continue to invest in fossil fuels will lose money.
  • Pension funds are legally required to protect and manage pensioners’ hard-earned retirement assets for the LONG-TERM. Ignoring or minimizing real financial risks to the pension fund is irresponsible.
  • Multiple recent studies show that fossil fuel investments decrease pension public equity portfolios profits by up to 15% in the past 10 years:




  • A growing number of Washington State laws require climate risks to be considered in planning at the state and local level, including the Climate Commitment Act (requiring reductions in greenhouse gas emissions), the Growth Management Act, the Clean Energy Transformation Act (CETA), and the Health Environment for All Act (HEAL).Why is the WSIB acting in opposition to firmly established state precedents and the common good?
  • Dropping fossil fuels from an investment portfolio is no longer prohibitively expensive. Investment indexes are changing as more pensions and endowments are divesting.
  • The Divest Washington Coalition is growing because people in Washington support a just transition to clean energy.

The next WSIB meeting is September 21. Personal testimony or comments in writing, in person at 2100 Evergreen Park Drive SW, Olympia, WA 98502, or on Zoom have the most impact. Written public comments should be submitted to by 9:30 AM on September 20. See for more information.

Thank you for speaking up for the Earth and for our future!

Divest Washington

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