Steyer Says Divestment from Coal Presents Financial and Moral Opportunity to Secure Teachers’ Retirement

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Advanced energy advocate Tom Steyer today made the business and moral case for divestment to the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) investment committee, laying the framework for the pension fund to build a better future for California’s teachers and our kids by choosing to divest from coal.

“CalSTRS’ duty is to ensure California’s teachers receive the secure retirement they deserve,” said Steyer. “CalSTRS has the opportunity to stand up for our families and—by doing the right thing—make the best financial decision for their members.”

During remarks at the June meeting of the CalSTRS investment committee, Steyer made the case that divesting from coal was both a smart financial and moral decision to secure California teachers’ retirement. By divesting from coal, CalSTRS would serve the financial interests of its members while also standing up for California’s future and the next generation.

Over the last decade fossil fuels have been a bad bet and divesting from coal would fulfill CalSTRS moral and financial commitment to its members. S&P’s Capital IQ modeled that a $1 billion endowment invested in a carbon-free S&P 500 portfolio over the last decade would have made an additional $119 million in profit. And in the past ten years, California—which has more than 430,000 clean energy jobs—has shown that advanced energy, not fossil fuels, can be the foundation of a strong economy.