Three of five pension funds in the $266.7 billion New York City Retirement Systems have divested about $3 billion in fossil fuel company holdings, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer announced Wednesday.
The divestment "is proof positive that environmental and fiscal responsibility go hand-in-hand," Mr. Stringer, the fiduciary of the five pension funds in the city system, said in a news release. "New York City is leading the way toward a clean, green and sustainable economy, and the impacts of the actions we are announcing today will be felt for generations to come."
One of the pension funds, the New York City Employees' Retirement System, has divested about $1.8 billion in fossil fuel company investments, the news release said. The pension fund had assets of $86.1 billion as of Sept. 30, according to the latest available data.
Another pension fund, the New York City Board of Education Retirement System, has divested about $100 million, the news release said. The pension fund had assets of $8.73 billion as of Sept. 30.
"The New York City Teachers' Retirement System's divestment is underway with over $1 billion divested to date, and is expected to be complete by the first quarter of 2022 with approximately $1 billion remaining," the news release said. The pension fund had assets of $101.2 billion as of Sept. 30.
The pension funds "retained independent investment consultants who conducted investment analyses showing the risks posed by fossil fuel companies and the prudent nature of the divestment actions adopted by" their respective, independent boards of trustees, the news release said.
The New York City Police Pension Fund and the New York City Fire Pension Fund did not participate.
Mr. Stringer and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the pension system's fossil fuel divestment goal in 2018. They said they would submit formal requests to each of the five pension funds' boards of trustees.
The process involved the trustees asking the comptroller's bureau of asset management to advise on their risk and return aspects of divestiture. The bureau manages investments for the pension funds, but the trustees have final say.
At the time, city officials predicted any divestiture would be conducted in stages with 2022 as a goal for completion.