Municipal Government

Global Warming & NYC Pensions

February 6, 2017
By Stephanie West

New York, NY – The Trustees of the New York City Pension Funds are conducting the first-ever carbon footprint analysis of their portfolios. The goak is to determine how to best manage their investments with an eye toward climate change.

In the 21st century, companies must transition to a low-carbon economy, and a failure to adapt to the realities of global warming could present potential investment risks. As part of the initiative, the funds have selected two independent advisors to examine the associated short- and long-term investment risks.

“There’s no question climate change is transforming both our planet and the international economy. Every corner of the globe is feeling the economic, physical, and social impacts,” New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer said. “This crisis isn’t going away – and we have to take decisive action. These advisors will help the Pension Funds continue to create long-term, sustainable growth for New York City’s retired firefighters, police officers, teachers, and other public employees.”

The Funds have selected Mercer Investment Consulting LLC to determine how to incorporate the realities of global warming into the Funds’ asset allocation, manager selection, and risk management processes. Mercer is recognized globally as a leading investment consultant on climate change investment risk and Environmental, Social, and Governance investing.

In addition, four of the Funds have selected Trucost plc to perform a carbon footprint analysis of their public equity investments. The Teachers Retirement System delegated their carbon footprint analysis to Mercer. This examination will measure the actual and estimated greenhouse gas emissions attributable to an investment portfolio and proportionally to its holdings.

“New York City is a global leader when it comes to taking on climate change and reducing our carbon footprint. The selection of Mercer and Trucost will help our pension funds develop a long-term strategy to address the risks of climate change to our investment portfolios as well as to our City and our planet,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

February 5, 2017

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