September 4, 2020

SEPTEMBER 10: Academics release letter demanding state legislators #DivestNY from fossil fuels

NEW YORK — As students, teachers, and our communities return to school amidst a global pandemic and  fossil-fueled climate disasters, New Yorkers are escalating the demand for State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli to act on his fiduciary responsibility to divest New York State’s Common Retirement Fund (NYS-CRF) from oil, and gas once and for all. The proposed Fossil Fuel Divestment Act now has 99 sponsors in the state Assembly and Senate.

This comes as communities experience cascading and accelerating fossil-fueled climate disasters: from fires in California to Colorado and deadly heat waves, to a barrage of hurricanes hitting the Gulf and East Coast and flooding. Meanwhile, Exxon was dropped from the Dow Jones Industrial Average after a 92 year run, and coal, gas and shale companies are declaring bankruptcy left and right.

WHAT: Virtual press call releasing letter signed by 1100+ academics demanding New York State legislators, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, fully divest the $198 billion state pension fund from fossil fuels.

WHO: Scientists, academics and researchers, youth leaders, and community members, including:

  • Dr. Farhana Sultana, Associate Professor of Geography, Syracuse University; Research Director for the Program on Environmental Collaboration and Conflicts at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

  • Prof. Rebecca Bratspies, Professor of Environmental Law, CUNY School of Law

  • Dr. Bob Howarth, David R. Atkinson Professor of Ecology & Environmental Biology, Cornell University

  • Bill McKibben, co-founder and Schumann Distinguished Scholar at Middlebury College

  • Katie Sims, Cornell University, Class of 2020 Bachelors of Science in Environmental Science and Sustainability, member of Climate Justice Cornell.

  • Moderator: Hridesh Singh, Executive Director, New York Youth Climate Leaders, freshman Williams College

WHEN & WHERE: September 10, 2020 at 10amEST. Register on zoom here.

WHY: New Yorkers launched the demand for DiNapoli to #DivestNY the day after Superstorm Sandy devastated communities. Nearly eight years later, over 1200 institutions representing more than $14 trillion in assets, including New York City’s pension funds, have committed to some level of divestment. While the NYS-CRF has recently divested from coal, the window for meaningful action is quickly closing. DiNapoli has lost out on at least $22 billion in returns from failing to divest from fossil fuels.


Contact: Lindsay Meiman, [email protected], (347) 460-9082