Fossil Fuel Divestment Act in NY State

State Senator Liz Krueger and Assembly Assistant Speaker Felix W. Ortiz recently announced the Fossil Fuel Divestment Act (S.5873/A.8011), which would require the New York State Comptroller to divest the Common Retirement Fund (CRF) from fossil fuel holdings by 2020. The bill was endorsed by New York Interfaith Power and Light as well as many other environmental, faith, and community organizations.  Bill McKibben, well-known writer, activist and founder of 350.org, and Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul, & Mary) were among the many advocates joining them in the announcement.

“I’m proud to be the sponsor of a bill that would require the New York State pension fund to divest from fossil fuels by 2020,” said Senator Krueger.  “It is critical that we send the message that we are no longer going to invest our public funds in activities that do enormous damage to our environment, not just in New York, not just in the United States, but throughout the world. It’s 2015 – we’re already decades behind where we need to be in addressing climate change.  Divestment is not a silver bullet, but it is one important step among many, and I urge all of my colleagues to support us in passing this bill and demonstrating that New York State can be at the cutting edge of the fight to stop catastrophic climate change.”

“Bold action is needed now to mitigate climate change,” said Assembly Assistant Speaker Ortiz.  “If we miss this opportunity to enact clean energy laws today, our children may face serious consequences.  The Fossil Fuel Divestment Act sends a strong message that New York should not invest in companies whose profits depend on damaging our climate. Our investment strategies should mirror the state’s public policies. That is why I wholeheartedly sponsor this bill to take the state’s pension fund monies out of the pockets of those who profit from fossil fuels.”

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