California Pensions Fail to Engage: A review of CalPERS’ and CalSTRS’ votes against shareholder climate resolutions

Read the full report. As the impacts of climate change begin to wreak havoc on our bisophere, the fossil fuel divestment movement has gained remarkable momentum. Globally, 1,500 institutions representing over $40 trillion in assets have already committed to some level of divestment from the fossil fuel industry.1 Despite over a decade of pressure from…

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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…

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Victory for Engagement at Exxon: It’s Not Enough

Fossil fuel giant ExxonMobil was forced to seat three new climate-competent board members on May 26, as a result of a $30 million proxy fight led by a tiny hedge fund named Engine No.1.  Will this unprecedented event help transform Exxon into a climate-friendly company?  Chris Ailman, the CIO of CalSTRS who was among the…

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Divestment vs Engagement: One Just Doesn’t Work

In the fight to keep oil in the ground, pension funds, banks, and other organizations managing large sums are coming under pressure to keep their money away from fossil fuel corporations. But while activists call for divestment from fossil fuel companies, the pension funds and banks seem to favor “engagement” with problematic companies while remaining invested. The…

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CalSTRS divestment: An apple for the teacher

On Wednesday, June 8, Fossil Free California and our allies came together for a silent demonstration at the CalSTRS headquarters in West Sacramento. As CalSTRS staff and board members entered the meeting room for the open session of the Investment Committee, we all lined the walls, holding red posterboard apples (“for the teacher”), each apple…

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Oakland Police and Fire System divests from coal

On Wednesday, May 25, the Oakland Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS) voted to divest their pension funds from investments in coal. Next month, PFRS will consider whether to divest from oil and gas as well. During the morning’s Investment Committee meeting, members of Fossil Free California commented on the damaging effects of coal, after…

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CalSTRS features Fossil Free California

CalSTRS recently published its annual Sustainability Report, and it shows that the world’s largest teachers’ pension fund is increasingly aware of the significance of divestment. While the report continues to emphasize the current CalSTRS policy of shareholder engagement, the divestment movement receives a full and fair treatment. This page features our work at Fossil Free California. One section of the…

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Oakland pension fund considers divestment

Almost two years ago, the Oakland City Council voted to divest, prohibiting the city “from having any financial holdings or investments in fossil fuel companies.” The City of Oakland has begun that process with its own investments, but the Oakland Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS), as a separate entity, is not bound by the city’s…

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