Seatlle, WA - July 12, 2017 (Investorideas.com Newswire) With the City of Seattle pension fund (SCERS) expected to vote on fossil fuel divestment on Thursday, a new report shows that the City's $2.5 billion pension has lost almost $100 million as a result of their fossil fuel investments over the last ten years.
"Fossil fuels have consistently under performed the general market for over a decade now, and that has resulted in huge losses for the Seattle pension fund," says Gang Chen, former North American director of equity index derivative trading at UBS, who compiled the updated report. "As the world continues to move away from fossil fuels, we can be pretty much sure that those losses will only continue."
In April, Mayor Murray asked that the SCERS board, "divest any holdings the fund has in companies whose primary business is the mining or burning of coal.” His support came after the Board had been asked to consider divesting by a large number of activist groups, including 350 Seattle, The Sierra Club, Got Green and Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, and almost 500 Seattle retirees and employees who signed a petition calling for divestment. While, City Council passed a resolution calling for divestment back in 2014.
Following the Mayor's intervention, the SCERS Board requested that a full evaluation of fossil fuel divestment be carried out. The findings of that evaluation shall be reported to the Board this Thursday, and it is expected that the Board will then move to vote on divestment.
"With huge wildfires raging throughout much of the west, evidence of climate impacts are everywhere. Now is the time to stop lending our financial, moral and social support to a fossil fuel industry that is at odds with curtailing catastrophic climate change," says City retiree, Andrea Faste.
If Seattle does vote to divest from fossil fuels, the City will be following in the footsteps of Somerville, MA, Cooperstown, NY, Washington D.C, and the Californian state pension funds, all of which have voted in favor of some form of fossil fuel divestment. Globally, investment capital totaling $5.44 trillion has committed to divestment.
The vote will take place at the SCERS Board meeting, which starts at 9am. The meeting is held on the 9th floor of the Pacific Building, 720 3rd Ave, Seattle, 98104.
The report can be found at northwestdivest.org/report
Alec Connon, 206-258-9176, alec@350Seattle.org
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