On February 13 at 12 noon, we will launch the Fossil Free California campaign with a rally in Sacramento. It's Global Divestment Day, and we're joining people around the world to urge pension funds, universities, cities and states, faith groups, and other institutions to divest from Old Energy.
Significant decisions are made in Sacramento. We were there at Jerry Brown's inauguration to protest his support of fracking (photo). We will be there next month to demand divestment.
Some of the largest fossil fuel investments in the world are held by the two California state pension funds, California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS). Their influence is enormous, with more than 20 billion dollars in coal, oil, and gas holdings. The boards of both funds have recognized the dangers of climate change and risks associated with Old Energy investments, and we are urging them to take the next step: purge their portfolios completely of these dangerous, dirty stocks and bonds.
Our rally will be held in front of the CalPERS building at 400 Q Street. A few minutes of street theater — a scientist facing off against an intransigent oil executive — will be followed by members of CalPERS and CalSTRS speaking about the importance of divestment. It's important morally, since no one wants to see her pension money used to create an uninhabitable planet. It's important financially, too, since fossil fuel companies face an uncertain future, as people increasingly recognize the destructive force of their products.
"If it's wrong to wreck the climate," as Bill McKibben once said, "then it's wrong to profit from that wreckage."
So join us in Sacramento if you can. If you can't be there, you have a choice of many other ways to demonstrate your support:
- Join a rally elsewhere in California on February 13 or 14.
- Mark Global Divestment Day wherever you are on Earth.
- Spread the word on Facebook or Twitter (#GlobalDivestmentDay).
And here's something you can do today, whether you're a member of CalSTRS or CalPERS or simply a California resident concerned that state money is being used improperly. Sign our petition now, and help us call on the state pension funds to pledge complete divestment from coal, oil, and gas companies.
Photo: David Braun
Cross-posted at Fossil Free California