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Climate Leadership in California
California boasts the fifth largest economy in the world, with a GDP of 2.7 trillion dollars and 40 million people. It's time for California to take the lead on addressing the climate crisis. Our state can model the ideas and initiatives needed to save the planet.
Divestment from fossil fuels helps erode the entrenched power of oil, gas, and coal companies. Morally, it's the right thing to do, and financially, it's the smart thing to do. The California legislature and the state's influential pension funds—CalSTRS and CalPERS—can lead us to a just transition to a low-carbon economy by moving money out of fossil fuels.
Fossil Free California's campaigns target the huge pension funds CalSTRS and CalPERS. We also provide information about moving your money out of polluting banks and investments; we engage with cities seeking to divest or change banks; and we monitor and support key legislation, especially in the area of climate finance.
Your tax-deductible donation helps Fossil Free California move billions of dollars out of the fossil fuel industry. Support our campaigns by becoming a monthly donor!
For state teachers
Featured Campaign: CalSTRS Divestment
CalSTRS, the largest public teachers’ pension fund in the country, currently invests over $6 billion in the fossil fuel industry — an investment that is both immoral and financially under-performing.
Divesting this fund from fossil fuels will improve teachers’ retirement income, and send a huge message to global financial markets that fossil fuel investments are no longer acceptable.
Reinvesting those funds in the clean energy economy will give our kids’ futures a fighting chance.
TAKE ACTION NOW! Tell CTA that CalSTRS Should Divest!
On January 30, students from around the state gathered at the Capitol to tell CalSTRS that: "We won't rest until CalSTRS divests!"
Stand with our students, and defend our pension - tell CTA to endorse CalSTRS divestment from fossil fuels.
If you’re a California teacher, you need to:
(1) Watch this Video
(2) Sign the Petition
Join the thousands of teachers who have already taken a stand for the health of the planet (and their retirements):
(3) Pledge to Contact Your CTA Rep
This chart shows 10-year returns from an investment of $10k. Red line is the S&P500 - a measure of the stock market as a whole. Blue is the fossil fuel ("Energy") sector. Why is CalSTRS still investing in the energy sector when it's performing so poorly?
Become more involved in the Divest CalSTRS campaign! We have all kinds of volunteer opportunities - just let us know what you're interested in.
Your tax-deductible donation helps Fossil Free California move billions of dollars out of the fossil fuel industry.
CA Students: Your teacher has homework! Here's how they can support the youth climate movement:
- California public school teachers save for their retirement with CalSTRS. CalSTRS invests teachers' savings, but they have been making unsafe and irresponsible investments. They have invested 6 billion dollars of teachers' money in fossil fuels—and these investments aren't even making the teachers any money!
- Our teachers deserve a decent retirement, and we deserve a livable future. Your teacher needs to tell CalSTRS to divest from fossil fuels.
- Pledge here to reach out to your teachers and let them know about CalSTRS' dangerous choices. They need to tell their union to tell CalSTRS to stop losing their hard-earned money, and stop funding climate chaos.
Watch "Our Pension. Our Planet." to learn why CalSTRS should divest:
More about the CalSTRS Campaign
Divesting the largest US public pension fund
We have an active petition drive directed to CalPERS and to CalSTRS, that asks the funds to divest from all primary producers of coal, oil, and gas.
CalPERS is the largest public pension fund in the United States. In fact, globally CalPERS ranks 7th in the world, larger than many national pension funds. It's very big — $400 billion worth — and when CalPERS moves, other investors follow.
Fossil Free California would like to see CalPERS move more rapidly toward a sustainable, fossil-free portfolio. We present petitions and public comments regularly at Board meetings, and we work with our allies to enact climate-friendly legislation in California. In 2015 we helped to pass SB 185, requiring that CalPERS (and CalSTRS) divest from companies that mine thermal coal, the kind used to fire power plants. And in 2017 we co-sponsored the ground-breaking bill SB 964, which requires CalPERS and CalSTRS to report on the climate-related financial risks of their investments. CalPERS produced its first report in compliance with SB 964 at the end of 2019.
There is much to do, and you can help. Over the next year, we plan to continue:
- to promote complete divestment from the primary producers of coal, oil and gas
- to work with Board members to revise the current divestment policy and maintain CalPERS' reputation as a leader in socially responsible investing
- to contend that shareholder engagement is ineffective
- to support passage of municipal resolutions urging CalPERS to divest from all fossil fuels
- to collect signatures asking both funds to divest
Please fill out our volunteer form and let us know how you'd like to help.