Exxon Lawsuit is a Wake Up Call for the NY State Pension Fund

New York state is suing Exxon-Mobil for fraudulently misleading investors about climate change. Records show that Exxon knew decades ago that climate change would negatively impact its business and did not disclose it. This resulted in an over-valuing of the company, which has hurt its investors. The New York State Common Pension Fund is one of those investors, to the tune of $1 billion.

New York City has embraced divestment, as have London, Norway, Ireland, the Catholic Church, the World Bank and others. A total of over $7 trillion worth of portfolios have committed to divestment to date, and the list is growing rapidly.  At the COP 24 annual U.N. climate conference, it was just announced that 1,000 institutions have now divested. To date, not one has reported any negative impact on returns. Conversely, a Corporate Knights study shows that New York state would be $22 billion better off today if it had divested 10 years ago.  A similar study in Norway shows that its Sovereign Wealth Fund would be $38 billion better off if it had divested 10 years ago.

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Deb McNamara