Philadelphia students strike for climate
Fossil fuels are destroying our planet
Our climate is in crisis. Everyday we hear of dangerous weather events caused by global warming. Hurricanes, wildfires and rising oceans are creating havoc with our world and bringing death and destruction. The primary cause of global warming is the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) which release greenhouse gasses into our atmosphere.
The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) determined that we have until 2030 to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions to avoid catastrophic harm to our planet.
Climate destruction is happening now. Hurricanes Sandy and Irene devastated communities in New York City and upstate. Sandy is estimated to have caused 125 deaths and cost $62 billion in damages. This is only the beginning.
Fossil fuel investments are destroying our pension
Energy was the worst performing sector of the S&P in 2018 and 2019. Fossil fuel stocks are lagging the rest of the economy and are estimated to have lost the NYSTRS pension billions of dollars. (A recent study found that the New York State Common Retirement Fund (CRF) lost $22 billion over the past ten years by not divesting from fossil fuels. The CRF is about twice the size of the teachers fund).
New York State recently passed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act which requires New York to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030 and to net zero by 2050. The industry is destined to collapse! Investments in a dying industry is like throwing money down the drain.
Divestment stigmatizes the fossil fuel industry and makes it harder for them to finance exploration and expansion projects. NYC has already committed to divest, including the NYC teacher's retirement fund.
Worldwide colleges, religious institutions and countries have committed to divest more than $11 trillion from fossil fuels. The list includes the World Council of Churches, the Republic of Ireland, the California Teacher's Retirement System, the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund, Columbia, Cornell, Syracuse, Stanford and Yale Universities. Full list here.