We are facing the immediate and ever-growing impacts of climate change on our health, safety, and our biosphere. Despite California's historic carbon reduction goals, the state's massive retirement pension funds are actively investing billions in the very fossil fuel companies powering the climate crisis.
In 2022, CalPERS and CalSTRS are using the retirement savings of teachers and public employees to finance fossil fuel companies to the tune of $9 billion. We know that these investments are indefensible for the following reasons:
- A study has shown that if CalSTRS and CalPERS had divested from fossil fuels in 2010, they would have gained $5.5 & $11.9 BILLION additional returns for their beneficiaries by 2019.
- Unions representing over 100,000 CalPERS and CalSTRS beneficiaries have passed resolutions calling for their pensions to divest from fossil fuels, including the United Teachers of Los Angeles, the California Federation of Teachers, and the California Faculty Association.
- There is legislative precedent: the California Legislature passed SB 185 in 2015, which required CalPERS and CalSTRS to liquidate their failing investments in thermal coal companies. Furthermore, Governor Newsom recently issued an Executive Order on Climate Change calling on CalPERS and CalSTRS to "leverage the state's $700 billion investment portfolio to advance California's climate leadership."
SB 1173 — the Fossil Fuel Divestment Act — would seize the momentum of the worldwide divestment movement by requiring CalPERS and CalSTRS to divest from the top 200 fossil fuel companies within 5 years and report annually on their progress.
The bill has been introduced to the Senate Desk and will be heard by the Senate Labor, Public Employee and Retirement, and Judiciary Committees.
We need your voice: call on these committee members to vote YES on SB 1173 to divest!