THE FOSSIL FUEL DIVESTMENT BILL
California's two main retirement systems are financing climate chaos.
CalPERS and CalSTRS have an estimated $9 BILLION invested in the fossil fuel industry. For nearly a decade, their members have called for their pensions to divest.
Passed by the California Senate in May of 2022, the Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill (SB 1173) would have required CalPERS and CalSTRS to divest from fossil fuels by July 2030. While the bill's progress has been put on pause, we'll be back with similar legislation next year.
“Investing billions in the fossil fuel companies that are polluting our environment while at the same time trying to meet ambitious emissions reduction goals is contradictory and incongruous. SB 1173 will ensure we remain true to our values and honor our commitment as a State to protecting the environment and the health and future of all Californians, including historically disadvantaged communities of color that are disproportionately impacted by the hazardous pollutants released into our communities by these companies.”
—Senator Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach)
“CalPERS and CalSTRS misled us—their members—by voting against climate resolutions, despite claiming their engagement with fossil fuel companies will help bring about needed change. Studies have already shown a failure to divest in fossil fuels in the last decade cost us an estimated $17.4 billion in returns. The systems lost us money and are actively supporting companies opposed to our present and future needs to combat ecological changes and support environmental justice. It’s long past time for lawmakers to do what these retirement pensions cannot: protect our future investments and pass Senate Bill 1173 this year to start the process of divesting from fossil fuels.”
—Charles Toombs, CFA President
“Divestment is essential to the wellbeing of the large community of people of color being affected by fossil fuel investments, along with the entirety of the planet, which is being greatly harmed.”
—15-year-old Anaya Sayal (Youth vs. Apocalypse)
"For the past 8 years, CalSTRS and CalPERS have ignored the calls of students, teachers, and state workers to divest their pensions. Many studies have shown that fossil fuels are a volatile and risky investment and over the last few years have lost money compared to other kinds of investments. We can’t reach the state’s climate goals if we keep propping up the companies creating the climate crisis."
—Miriam Eide (Fossil Free California)
“Divestment is the right thing to do for climate change and is a smart financial move for our pensions. We have to stop pretending that fossil fuel companies are good corporate citizens. CFA wields a powerful credential in California, and we can best serve our principles of social and racial justice by taking a lead in climate justice for future generations of students, families and communities.”
—Carlos Davidson (CFA Peace & Justice Committee)
“It’s time for us to hold oil, gas, and coal companies accountable for putting profits above all life on Earth. That means it’s time for CalPERS and CalSTRS to stop pretending that the fossil fuel industry is on our side and divest from the corporations that are literally killing us."
—Sim Bilal (19), Logistics Lead, Youth Climate Strike LA
"The fossil fuel industry doesn’t benefit low-income communities or people of color. We are never considered when they make decisions about their business. It’s infuriating that our elected officials take huge donations from this industry, and then turn around and deny young people, frontline communities, and our entire movement the chance to even make our case and have a fair vote."
—Marlay'ja Hackett (15), Youth vs. Apocalypse
Get the facts
Learn more about the Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill (SB 1173).
Join the coalition
Help keep up the fight to divest the two largest public pensions in the United States from fossil fuels.
Still have questions?
Check out our answers to frequently asked questions about the Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill.
The California Fossil Fuel Divestment Coalition promises to return with similar legislation next year, and will turn up the pressure directly on CalPERS and CalSTRS to divest from fossil fuels.
New report reveals California pensions CalPERS, CalSTRS vote NO on Big Oil shareholder climate resolutions
The retirement systems’ failed shareholder engagement efforts with fossil fuel companies has cost their members $11.9 billion in returns California — A report released today from Fossil Free California reveals that California’s public pensions voted to oppose climate action at major fossil fuel companies and financiers during the 2022 Annual General Meeting season. This exposé…
California communities celebrate growing momentum around pension divestment California — Today amidst increasing drought and water crisis, wildfires, and tangible impacts of the fossil-fueled climate chaos, the California State Senate passed Senate Bill 1173 (Gonzalez and Wiener), California’s Fossil Fuel Divestment Act, which would require the state’s public pension funds to divest from fossil fuels.…
New report exposes pattern of misinformation on fossil fuel divestment from two largest public pension funds in U.S. (California) — A first-of-its-kind comprehensive report released today from Fossil Free California reveals that the combined $800 billion California Public Employees’ and State Teachers’ Retirement Systems have repeatedly given incorrect and inflated figures on the costs of…
Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons As we transition towards a sustainable society, the country’s largest public pension fund claims to be doing its part. CalPERS (the California Public Employees’ Retirement System) is attempting to leverage its $27 billion in fossil fuel investments ($5.6 billion in companies with fossil fuel reserves) to ask the companies powering…
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