Divest~Invest

Divestment is the opposite of investment–it simply means getting rid of stocks, bonds or investment funds that are unethical or morally objectionable, particularly fossil fuel investments which are a risk for investors and for the planet.   We are calling on institutions to divest from the 200 publicly-traded companies that hold the vast majority of listed coal, oil and gas reserves.  For more information on the international divestment movement, please go to  www.gofossilfree.org

Divestment in the News

Read the Marin IJ article Climate change activists urge Marin pension board to drop oil investments


 

Divestment Local News Coverage and Letters to the Editor

Marin IJ Letter to Editor from Jody Timms, 350Marin Steering Committee member and chairwoman, 350Marin Divest-Invest Committee

Time to reconsider stock in fossil fuel companies

If you’ve had the good fortune to be able to save for retirement, now might be a good time to see how much you’ve lost as a result of your investments in coal.

Over the past four years, the nation’s three largest coal companies have seen their cumulative value of $25 billion collapse to below $1 billion.

If others are investing on your behalf, you might want to suggest they divest. According to a report from Trillium Asset Management last week, CalPERS and CalSTRS lost $840 million in coal stock investments in the last year, and that number grows to a whopping $5.1 billion combined loss if you include investments in the world’s 200 largest oil, gas and coal companies.

Read more

Marin IJ Letter to Editor from Ken Jones, 350Marin Steering Committee member

Going green could benefit pension profits

In your much appreciated editorial on Dec. 22 about the Marin County Employees Retirement Association and wanting the public to be able to see what “constructive engagement” with fossil fuel companies is happening, you stated that “Its investment strategy has been focused on returns, not reforms.”

It really is not clear that even that is true, in an active way.

Read more

Marin IJ Editorial – Pension ‘engagement’ should be public

Marin residents who urged the county pension board to dump its oil stocks have every right to press for change.

They are concerned that their public investments’ reliance on profits from oil-driven industries, such as gasoline companies, are steering the world toward global warming. They say the health of the planet is at stake.

In response, Jeff Wickman, head of the Marin County Retirement Association, said the local system believes it can pursue “constructive engagement” in changing the corporate aims of the businesses in which it invests. The pension board should make those “engagement” efforts public.

Read more – See more information about 350Marin’s Divestment actions below

Climate activists urge Marin pension trustees to dump oil stocks

350Marin Divestment Committee Attends MCERA Meeting  – Story in the Marin IJ

Climate change activists urged county pension officials to bail out of oil stock investments Wednesday, saying the health of the planet is at stake.

Pension trustees made no comment following pleas for action by a half dozen members of Marin 350, a climate change education group that seeks a change in pension fund investment philosophy.

“You can expect us to keep coming back before you until you pull the plug,” said Richard Gray of Forest Knolls during an appearance at the pension board’s open time forum. “This is not an issue that can be put off or delayed,” he added. “The time to act is now.”

Fairfax might joins fossil fuel divestiture movement

350Marin Divestment Committee Work in Fairfax – Story in the Marin IJ

On Wednesday night, the Fairfax Town Council will consider adding its voice to a growing chorus calling on large government pension funds to divest their holdings in fossil fuel investments.

At the request of 350Marin.org, Fairfax Councilman David Weinsoff has asked the council to approve a resolution calling on the California Public Employees’ Retirement System and the Marin County Employees’ Retirement Association (MCERA) to divest.

350Marin.org is the local chapter of 350.org, a national organization combating global warming and climate change. The organization’s name stems from the fact that most scientists agree that 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is the maximum safe level; beyond that life on the planet as we know it is in jeopardy.

Members of the Divestment Committee and other 350Marin members were at the meeting Wednesday night as the Fairfax Town Council passed this resolution


 

And followup article – Marin oil stock protest: ‘What good is a pension fund on a dead planet?’

Read the presentations made to the MCERA Committee by 350Marin members

Barbara Bogard
Barbara Rothkrug
Deborah Silvey
Gary Krane
Jane Vosberg
Jody Timms, September 2014 meeting comments, October 2014 meeting comments, January 2015 Meeting comments, February 2015 comments
Jolon Timms, January 2015 Meeting comments
Ken Jones
Norma Fragoso
Paul Burks
Peter Joseph
Taylor Hawke

The four primary initiatives of the 350Marin Divestment Committee are:

  • Urging the Marin County Employees Retirement Association to divest its $1.9 billion pension fund from fossil fuels.
  • Working with the First Presbyterian Church of America to divest its endowment fund.
  • Asking that Branson High School consider divestment of its endowment fund.
  • Looking into our personal investment portfolios and divesting as soon as is reasonably possible.

Contact Jody Timms – jodytimms@comcast.net

Other Resources:

7 Reasons to Sell Your Fossil Fuel Stocks Now – from 350.org

Video from Seattle Divestment Forum: