"The Trump Administration’s willful ignorance of climate change will jeopardize our chances of avoiding catastrophic changes in our climate, but it will not halt the momentum in the global marketplace where reason still reigns. The transition to a lower carbon future is underway; it is inevitable; and it is the direction the rest of the world is headed. If news reports are accurate, the administration's plan to withdraw from the Paris Agreement means that the U.S. will stand on the sidelines while other nations enjoy the economic benefits of participating in the next energy revolution.
"As an investor who participated in the Paris Agreement discussions, I witnessed firsthand the fierce commitment to proactively addressing climate change and saving our planet shared by world leaders. As trustee of New York state's $192 billion pension fund I have sought out profitable and sustainable investments and encouraged our portfolio companies, like Exxon, to adopt smart, long-term plans that address climate change.
"In Paris, the world reached an unprecedented agreement to drastically lower carbon emissions and limit global warming to protect our planet. Investors and businesses, including the energy sector, were in agreement, and have endorsed the goals of the Paris Agreement. The fact that a landslide majority of Exxon’s shareholders today voted in favor of our request that America’s largest oil company address the impact of the Paris Agreement demonstrates the market’s determination to mitigate climate risk.
"We should be leading this effort, not running from the promise we made in Paris."
Comptroller DiNapoli has taken ground breaking actions to promote solutions to climate change, including his first in the U.S. Low Emission Index fund announced at the Paris Climate Conference. DiNapoli has used his influence as a shareholder to convince dozens of leading companies to improve their climate performance, supported crucial mitigation policies and was recently recognized by the Asset Owners Disclosure Project as being among the world’s top leaders in acting to limit climate risk to the New York State Common Retirement Fund.
About the New York State Common Retirement Fund
The New York State Common Retirement Fund is the third largest public pension fund in the United States, with an estimated $192 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2017. The Fund holds and invests the assets of the New York State and Local Retirement System on behalf of more than one million state and local government employees and retirees and their beneficiaries. The Fund has a diversified portfolio of public and private equities, fixed income, real estate and alternative instruments.