New York State pension fund divests from more coal and launches groundbreaking review of $640 million shale oil and gas holdings including ConocoPhillips, Marathon Oil

Thursday August 12, 2021

State Comptroller continues to lead on climate action for $268 billion pension fund

(Albany, New York - August 12, 2021) New York’s State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli announced further divestment of coal assets today from one of the nation’s largest pension funds - shedding remaining investments in New Hope, PT Indo Tambangraya Megah Tbk, Semirara Mining and Power, Shanxi Coking Coal Energy Group. and Whitehaven Coal. This announcement comes just three days after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released their latest report detailing the need for “immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions” in order to limit burgeoning climate change.

The Comptroller also announced the launch of a climate risk review of the fund’s holdings in 42 shale oil and gas companies including Marathon Oil, ConocoPhillips and Hess valued at $640 million dollars. The review, which is a next step in the Comptroller’s groundbreaking divestment and net zero plan for the $268 billion fund, will assess the companies’ transition readiness and alignment with the Paris Climate accord.

“Finishing up divestment from coal is a financially prudent move,” said Matt Oill with Divest NY. "As the IPCC's most recent Report once again emphasizes the direness of the climate crisis, and given the threats posed by fracking to the climate and peoples' health, not to mention the history of bankruptcies in the sector, this review of shale oil and gas companies cannot happen fast enough."

The Comptroller’s most recent review led to the divestment of seven tar sands companies from the fund including Imperial Oil, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., MEG Energy Corp and garnered headlines. Once this review of shale oil and gas companies is complete, likely in early 2022, the fund will begin a review of midstream oil and gas companies. The fund has set a goal of reviewing all fossil fuel holdings by the end of 2024 and reaching net zero emissions for its portfolio by 2040 - a nation leading move.

“A promise made is a promise fulfilled. Kudos to Comptroller DiNapoli for moving to further divest from coal and to review risky shale oil and gas assets,” said Richard Brooks with Stand.earth. “New York State’s systematic approach to assessing and reducing its climate related risk should be watched and replicated by other funds across the continent. It’s clear that the future is not in fossil fuels and it’s time to divest.”

The Comptroller’s moves are the kind of action needed to bring global carbon emissions to net zero and tackle the climate crisis, as outlined in the International Energy Agency recently released Net Zero Roadmap. The IEA identified several priority actions needed to successfully move the world onto a pathway towards clean energy transition - including shifting capital away from fossil fuels and phasing out the use of oil, coal and gas.

“This is even more reason why the Teachers Retirement Fund needs to move quickly to assess its climate risk and divest from fossil fuels. If its big sister fund can do it, there’s no excuse for the Teachers fund,” said Liam Smith with the New York Youth Climate Leaders. “For my future and future generations, we need Teachers to quit coal, oil and gas. Now.”

The DivestNY coalition is a multigenerational, multiracial effort composed of 40+ groups. The coalition launched after Superstorm Sandy devastated the Northeast in 2012, costing nearly $70 billion in damages. With recent victories at the city and state level, the coalition has turned its sights to the $125 Billion NYS Teachers Retirement System, the 7th largest in the country, urging it to divest. The NYSTRS has more than $4 billion invested in fossil fuels including $300 million invested in coal companies alone. DivestNY is a member of the Climate Safe Pensions Network, a coalition of pension campaigns across North America.

Over 1,300 institutions with more than $14.5 trillion in assets have committed to some form of fossil fuel divestment. These include pension funds, universities and colleges, faith and philanthropic organizations and cities and countries.

The New York State Common Retirement Fund currently has holdings in: 1. ANTERO RESOURCES CORPORATION , 2. APA CORPORATION, 3. APACHE CORPORATION , 4. ARC RESOURCES LTD., 5. ASCENT RESOURCES UTICA HOLDINGS, LLC., 6. BAYTEX ENERGY CORP., 7. BIRCHCLIFF ENERGY LTD., 8. BONANZA CREEK ENERGY, INC., 9. CABOT OIL & GAS CORPORATION, 10. CALLON PETROLEUM COMPANY, 11. CENTENNIAL RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT, INC., 12. CHESAPEAKE ENERGY CORPORATION, 13. CIMAREX ENERGY CO., 14. CNX RESOURCES CORPORATION, 15. COMSTOCK RESOURCES, INC., 16. CONOCOPHILLIPS, 17. CONTINENTAL RESOURCES, INC., 18. CRESCENT POINT ENERGY CORP., 19. CREW ENERGY INC., 20. DEVON ENERGY CORPORATION, 21. DIAMONDBACK ENERGY, INC., 22. ENERPLUS CORPORATION, 23. EOG RESOURCES, INC., 24. EQT CORPORATION, 25. HESS CORPORATION, 26. LAREDO PETROLEUM, INC., 27. LONESTAR RESOURCES US INC., 28. MAGNOLIA OIL & GAS CORPORATION, 29. MARATHON OIL CORPORATION, 30. MATADOR RESOURCES COMPANY, 31. MURPHY OIL CORPORATION, 32. NATIONAL FUEL GAS COMPANY, 33. OASIS PETROLEUM INC., 34. OVINTIV INC., 35. PDC ENERGY, INC., 36. PEYTO EXPLORATION & DEVELOPMENT CORP., 37. PIONEER NATURAL RESOURCES COMPANY, 38. RANGE RESOURCES CORPORATION, 39. SENEX ENERGY LIMITED, 40. SM ENERGY COMPANY, 41. SOUTHWESTERN ENERGY COMPANY, and 42. TOURMALINE OIL CORP totaling $640 million dollars.

Media contacts: 

Shante Little, Communications Coordinator, finmedia@stand.earth, +1 603 997 6313 (Central Time)
Ziona Eyob, Communications Manager, canmedia@stand.earth, +1 604 757 7279 (Pacific Time)
Liam Smith, Representative, New York Youth Climate Leaders, +1 585 730 6238