What future will we leave our students?
Faith leaders across NY
call on NY teachers to divest from fossil fuels
The following letter, signed by close to one hundred New York faith leaders was delivered to the NYSTRS board on January 26.
Dear Mr. Lee, Mr. Keefe and the members of the NYSTRS board:
As people of reason and faith who care for the earth, its inhabitants and its future generations, we call upon you to divest the New York State Teachers' Retirement System from fossil fuels. We are representatives of diverse faith traditions who feel compelled to speak out in opposition to funding fossil fuel projects based on our shared commitment to serve vulnerable communities and to be stewards of our earth and all its inhabitants.
Global warming caused by humans burning fossil fuels is bringing the earth ever closer to disaster. This past summer gave a glimpse of what the future will look like under climate collapse. Superstorms, extreme heat, flooding and drought are devastating communities and threatening worldwide food supplies. The poor and the most vulnerable among us will continue to suffer the most from these effects of climate change. Continued investment in the fossil fuel industry furthers this injustice.
Over 14,000 Teachers Call for NYS Teacher's Retirement System to Divest from Fossil Fuels
Divest NY's Sally Courtright received 14,246 votes in her campaign for the retired teacher seat on the New York State Teacher's Retirement System board. Sally ran on a campaign to protect the retirement fund from bad investments in fossil fuels that threaten the financial security of the fund and cause fund climate destruction. While she didn't win, she sent a loud and clear message that thousands of NYSTRS members want the fund to divest. Thank you Sally!
Save our planet! Save our pension!
Sign the petition to divest
NY teachers' pension fund from coal, oil and gas
The New York State Teachers' Retirement System (NYSTRS)* has an estimated $4.5 billion** invested in climate destroying fossil fuels with over $500,000,000 invested in Exxon Mobil alone. They have even increased their investments in climate destroying coal in 2021. We call on NYSTRS to stop funding climate destruction and divest its funds from all fossil fuels to save our planet and save our pension.
Divest NY Joins Climate Can't Wait in Albany on
Earth Day to Demand that NY Act on Climate
for more information climatecantwait.org
Divest NY delivered a letter to New York State Legislative Leaders today signed by over 120 climate, youth, community and faith organizations calling on them to bring the bill to the floor for a vote. See the letter here.
Divest NY Calls on Legislative Leaders
to Pass Teachers' Fossil Fuel Divestment Act
Divest NY asks DFS to Investigate
NYSTRS for Climate Risk Exposure
Divest NY sent a letter to the NYS Department of Financial Services calling for an investigation of whether the NYS Teachers Retirement System is violating its fiduciary duty to protect the fund by ignoring climate risks posed by investments in fossil fuels. Click Here.
NYSTRS INCREASES INVESTMENTS IN COAL
Press Release Here -- Full Report Here
Divest NY released a report that shows that NYSTRS has over $300 million invested in companies with substantial coal reserves. They increased their investments by more than 62 million shares.
Watch our Divest NYSTRS Webinar
Don't Let Fossil Fuels Burn Up Our Pension, aired in November, 2020. It features youth climate leaders Hridesh Singh and Erin Zipman, climate activist Bill McKibben, newly elected state senator Jabari Brisport, capital district teacher Lauren Kirkwood and and Bard professor Kathy Hipple.
Tell the NYS Teachers' Retirement System
to Divest NOW! Sign the Petition Here
* NYSTRS had $122.5 billion in assets at the end of 2019 with nearly 264,000 active members and over 169,000 retirees and beneficiaries. NYSTRS members are all full-time teachers, teaching assistants, guidance counselors and administrators employed in New York public schools (excluding New York City), BOCES, and eligible charter schools. Part-time teachers and teachers in New York State community colleges or SUNY may join.
** NYSTRS's investments in fossil fuels were estimated at $4.5 billion last spring before the pandemic. Their investments in coal increased in the fourth quarter of 2020 to over $300 million. The pandemic and worldwide efforts to reduce carbon emissions are causing the fossil fuel market to tank. Fracking companies are declaring bankruptcy in record numbers and Exxon Mobil is expected to lose more than $1 billion this year, compared with profits of $46 billion in 2008.