“It makes no sense to pay for your retirement by investing in companies that guarantee you won’t have a planet worth retiring on!”– Bill McKibben, Author, Educator, Environmentalist
As stakeholders in the Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Trust (“The Pension Fund”), we have the power to:
- help shape the future for ourselves and for our children and grandchildren,
- keep the fund safe, and
- send the fossil fuel companies a message that we will not tolerate the wrecking of the planet
–by insisting that the pension fund board support divestment from fossil fuels.
The debate on climate change is over.
Burning the existing fossil fuel reserves would irreparably harm the planet. We either allow the harm or not. Continued exploration for new fossil fuel sources is like finding new carcinogens to feed to a cancer patient. Now is the time to say enough. We must find a better way.
Climate change is an issue of justice.
Climate change is not just an “environmental issue”. It’s an issue of justice–of who pays for it. Climate change will make life harder for us and our children and we will pick up the tab.
Will divesting cost our retirees?
We can divest responsibly. Analysis from leading investment groups suggests that we can move our money out of the fossil fuel industry while still protecting our financial performance. Many people think investments in fossil fuels are at risk from a “carbon bubble”. Eventually, to pay for climate change there will be a cost assigned to carbon. When that happens it could rapidly devalue fossil fuel companies who can no longer use all of their stated reserves. Leading think tanks and banks are questioning the long-term viability of the fossil fuel industry.
Many Colleges, churches and public entities have voted to divest. If enough of us do it, the fossil fuel companies will get the message: time to stop climate change! Let’s make sure future retirees can afford to survive during retirement!
We pay the costs.
The 1% might not feel this but we will! And public workers will be hit especially hard – the state will have to spend more to rebuild infrastructure and help society cope with the change. That will leave less money available for current public services.
But we don’t get the profits.
Burning fossil fuels is the biggest contributor to climate change. Our society needs to implement a plan as soon as possible to reduce our dependency on them. But oil and gas companies are making too much money now from the existing system to support changes. They get the profits but we will pay to clean up the mess of the climate change they are causing.
What can we do about it? Divest!
So its time to send them a message. If enough large funds divest from fossil fuel companies, that will send a powerful message that they need to do something about climate change.