California Treasurer Fiona Ma is calling on CalSTRS to divest from its investment in fossil fuels, said Mark Desio, a spokesman for the treasurer in an email.
Ms. Ma is a member of the boards of the $241.3 billion California State Teachers' Retirement System, West Sacramento, and the $378.4 billion California Public Employees' Retirement System, Sacramento. However, Ms. Ma is not calling on CalPERS to also divest from fossil fuels at this time, Mr. Desio said in an email.
“She is starting with CalSTRS. Then maybe after that she will go to CalPERS,” Mr. Desio said.
At the end of the public comment period on Sept. 5, Harry M. Keiley, investment committee chairman said the transition to a low-carbon future is a top priority in CalSTRS' fiscal year 2020 work plan.
“The members of this committee and myself as the chair of the committee ... all care deeply about this issue. Individually and collectively, it's a matter of serious concern and focus for us,” he said.
Just because the committee hasn't taken action toward divestment “does not mean we don't take this issue seriously. We do,” Mr. Keiley said. “As a group, we are making inroads on this issue and we do have a sphere of influence that we're exerting strategically and at certain periods of time.”
“CalSTRS, as part of a global coalition of investors, is currently engaging with the major fossil fuel companies to advance a transition to a low-carbon economy,” CalSTRS said in a written statement. “CalSTRS remains committed to supporting public policies like cap-and-trade, engaging with companies and investing in sustainable businesses while we fulfill our fiduciary duty to nearly 1 million of California's educators who will rely on their benefit for a secure retirement.”