View this email in your browser

Hi Jeanne,

This month, world leaders met in Glasgow for the global climate talks. And while the talks were historic in many ways, we didn’t see any major commitment to stop the flow of investment to oil and gas projects.

So, we’re increasing the stakes. Over the coming days and months, we’re going to push more financial institutions to move their money away from fossil fuels: starting with one of the biggest fossil fuel investors, public pension funds.

Your representative has the power to decide whether public pension funds shift away from climate-destroying oil, gas, and coal investments.

Tell your state representative to divest public pensions from risky fossil fuel stocks.


Why are we focusing on public pension funds?

Public pensions are some of the biggest holders of fossil fuel stocks. 30% of all fossil fuel stocks are owned by pension funds. And public pension funds are some of the biggest pools of financial capital on Earth. Just in the United States, public pension funds control over $4.5 trillion in financial assets. That’s a lot of money.

Moving a financial institution this huge and powerful might seem unwinnable, but this is where things get interesting: Public pension funds are vulnerable to public pressure because politicians have a say in how they function. And the politicians answer to us.

State employees – from sanitation workers to firefighters and teachers – rely on state public pension funds for their well-earned retirement. We need to make sure that their funds are divested from fossil fuel corporations whose financial outlook is looking shakier and shakier by the day.

Your representative in the state house can change this. And we’ve built a tool you can use to send a message directly to them.

Will you use our tool to tell your state representative to secure pensions from risky fossil fuel stocks?

Some pension managers are beginning to recognize that there is no long term future for fossil fuel stocks. Earlier this year, New York State took its first steps in dropping fossil fuel stocks from its public pension funds. But in order to secure the retirements of public servants in an emissions-constrained world, we need to make sure their pensions are fossil-free.

I’m not going to lie to you: This fight is going to be hard. While some fund managers are starting to see the logic and the ethics behind this, financial instutions can be quite stubborn.

But the community has moved difficult targets before. We’ve gone up against multinational oil, gas, and coal companies worth billions of dollars and have come out victorious, blocking dozens of their projects. We’ve shifted billions of dollars of purchasing from corporate powerhouses like Starbucks, Staples, and Levi’s onto more sustainable pathways.

By getting funds to divest from fossil fuels, we’re following in the footsteps of divestment movements in the past, including the successes of the tobacco movement, and the divestment movement that helped bring down Apartheid. These victories happened because people like you dared to take a stand.

Can you send your message now?

In solidarity,

Amy Gray
Senior Climate Finance Strategist challenges corporations, industries, and governments to prioritize the well-being of people, our environment, and our climate by creating long-term, effective solutions. None of this work is possible without your support.
San Francisco office: 548 Market Street, Suite 74196, San Francisco, CA 94104-5401
On traditional Chochenyo and Karkin Ohlone Lands  

Bellingham office: 1329 N State St., Suite 302 Bellingham, WA 98225
On traditional Lummi and Nooksack Lands

Vancouver office: 5307 Victoria Drive, Suite 347, Vancouver, BC V5P 3V6
On Unceded Territories of the səl̓ílwətaʔɬ, xʷməθkwəy̓əm, and Skwxwú7mesh Nations