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New York, Divest Pensions From The Fossil Fuel Companies That Are Accelerating Global Warming

New York, Divest Pensions From The Fossil Fuel Companies That Are Accelerating Global Warming New York, divest pensions from the fossil fuel companies that are accelerating global warming

Published at Thursday, 31 January 2019. Global Warming. By .

But not New York City. So far, the Big Apple is content to keep investing its money in these companies. Its pension funds have billions sunk in the stock of the corporations who've done, and keep doing, the damage. This is not only maddening in any moral sense, it's crazy economically: These sectors have been among the weakest parts of the economy for years, underperforming other investments. If New York had divested when campaigners started asking after Sandy, its retirees would be on much more solid financial ground. But better late than never. On Oct. 28, thousands of New Yorkers will march across the Brooklyn Bridge into the parts of the Lower East Side still rebuilding from Sandy. They're demanding the city commit to 100% renewables, and get people back in their homes who are still adrift long after the storm.

Forget the bizarre tweets and insults from the White House, or the images of the President touring San Juan: What's happened in Puerto Rico will change life there for many years after all the news has faded from your feed. Early estimates put the economic damage from Hurricane Maria at $30 billion, a third of the island's annual economic output. Eighty percent of its crops have been destroyed — "there is no agriculture on Puerto Rico, and there won't be for at least another year," said one official. It may be a year before power returns, and even that won't solve the deeper problems. As one official said, the devastation had set back the island "20 or 30 years" — that is, an entire human generation's worth of progress lost in a few hours.

But the #Sandy5 effort also demands divestment, and it knows who is accountable. New York's elected officials — the borough presidents, the public advocate, the comptroller and the mayor — along with city unions all have a say in where pension money gets invested. They should speak with conviction and force. It's one more way to express our solidarity with people in Puerto Rico. We can't take back Maria, but we can make sure we're not funding the next one.

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