Your pension and fossil fuels
Your pension and fossil fuels
Tuesday June 08, 2021

Is your retirement fund driving fossil fuel expansion?

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the future of big oil and gas companies with Exxon, Shell, and Chevron all in the news. But who owns these companies? Public pension funds are the world’s largest asset owners and among the biggest investors in fossil fuels. That means hundreds of billions of dollars in public funds are being used to finance climate destruction.

All across North America, campaigns pushing for divestment of pension funds are ramping up and achieving huge victories

Now, we’re counting on you to make your state and city the next to join the movement. That’s why we’re asking you to send a message to your local elected officials and urge them to divest pension funds from fossil fuels.

Besides being bad for the climate, these investments in fossil fuels actually place public pension funds at risk. Coal, oil, and gas companies are underperforming the rest of the market. It is widely expected that the assets of many fossil fuel companies will eventually become stranded and stock values will plunge. This bursting of the "carbon bubble" could cause losses greater than the 2008 financial crisis – And taxpayers are often on the hook when a pension fund is underfunded.

Hard earned retirement savings should not be invested in a risky industry – and we certainly do not want to continue to financially support fossil fuel companies, the primary drivers of the climate crisis. Many of these companies are actively expanding fossil fuel infrastructure, from tar sand and gas pipelines, to fracking wells and offshore drilling – even digging new coal mines and building new coal-fired power plants.

We must move away from investments in fossil fuels and support a just transition to a low-carbon economy based on renewable energy and sustainable green jobs. At Stand.earth, we are coordinating the Climate Safe Pensions Network, engaging in state and city pensions campaigns, and mobilizing the power of the Stand community across the country to pressure decision makers who control trillions of dollars.

We’ve coordinated a petition with dozens of groups across the USA to demand that our elected officials act to freeze all investments in fossil fuel companies and divest pension funds from all coal, oil, and gas producers. Please sign it now, for the future of our world.