San Francisco City & County Employees’ Retirement System’s board has approved a plan to divest all of its coal stocks, reinvesting the $21 million in renewable energy assets.
The renewable energy investments could include solar, wind, geothermal, hydropower, bioenergy, fusion and ocean power. Investments would not be limited to equities and could include limited partnerships and direct investments, according to the resolution the board passed.
The action by the $20.3 billion pension fund WednesdayDec. 9 follows that of the $293.6 billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System, Sacramento, and the $188 billion California State Teachers’ Retirement System, West Sacramento, which were required to divest their coal stocks by 2017 under legislation signed into law by Gov. Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown Jr. in October.
But unlike CalPERS and CalSTRS, the San Francisco board was under no obligation to take such an action.
“Coal is the dirtiest of the dirtiest,” said board member Herb Meiberger in an interview explaining the board’s action.
No date for divestment was set; however, for the divestment to begin, the pension fund’s staff will have to develop an implementation plan.
The pension fund has about $500 million in other fossil-fuel holdings and has been criticized by members of the city’s board of supervisors for not fully divesting from fossil-fuel companies.
The supervisors passed a resolution two years ago urging full divestment, but board members have said they won’t take such actions until they determine that engagement with fossil-fuel companies about better environmental practices is not working.