State Treasurer Fiona Ma Issues Statement on Vote to Support Divestment Legislation at CalPERS Board Meeting
March 16, 2023
California State Treasurer Fiona Ma today issued the following statement after the CalPERS board voted to take a position on Senate Bill 252:
"It's time to take the next step in climate action. Divestment sends a message to companies that have shown little interest in seriously addressing a problem that places human existence in peril for the sake of profits: time's up. The next generation is already making clear that they won't accept climate inaction and we should put our money where our mouth is. While engagement is, and will continue to be, an effective tool in this effort, California has an opportunity to again lead on climate issues, energizing the global advocacy effort and ensuring the long-term sustainability of retiree pensions."
"This legislation gives our pension funds the necessary time to prudently plan for divestment, including identifying suitable investment alternatives, which a growing body of academic research shows exists. Importantly, it also provides strong fiduciary exceptions to allow pension fund staff to first and foremost ensure that retirees get their hard-earned paychecks, in full."
Senate Bill 252 would prohibit new fossil fuel investments by California's two state pension funds, CalPERS and CalSTRS, and require them to liquidate existing fossil fuel investment by 2030. The boards of both pension funds ultimately voted against supporting the legislation.