For Immediate Release: Wednesday April 5, 2023
Contact: Alec Connon, [email protected], 206-258-9176
36,000+ people and 118 organizations urge State Treasurers and public pensions to support climate and Indigenous rights shareholder resolutions at bank and insurance companies’ Annual General Meetings
Today, 118 climate, environmental, and human rights organizations, representing millions of members and including the groups Amazon Watch, Hip Hop Caucus, Public Citizen, Rainforest Action Network, Sierra Club, Stand.earth, and Texas Campaign for the Environment, delivered a petition and letter to State Treasurers and management of major public pensions across the country, calling on them to vote yes on four climate and Indigenous rights resolutions at banks and insurance companies’ shareholder meetings.
“Public pensions in states such as California, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and New York, control trillions of dollars for millions of public employees and retirees. Unfortunately, in recent years, the people elected and hired to manage that money have frequently been voting against common sense climate resolutions introduced by shareholders at banks and insurance companies. As we witness ever more climate-driven extreme weather events, that needs to change,” stated Alec Connon, Stop the Money Pipeline coalition co-director.
The global financial giant, Swiss Re, has estimated that the world stands to lose close to ten percent of total economic value by mid-century if climate change stays on the currently anticipated trajectory. If the world warms by 3.2°C, the economic losses will hit $23 trillion by 2050, or eighteen percent of global economic value. In such a scenario public pensions would experience significantly poorer returns than would otherwise be expected.
“Public pension fund officers have an obligation to protect their members from both the financial volatility and physical destruction of the climate crisis. They must do their job by voting yes on climate and Indigenous rights resolutions at bank and insurance shareholder meetings this spring”, stated Arielle Swernoff, Stop the Money Pipeline’s US Banks Campaign Manager.
You can view the full letter delivered, and all of the signatories here.
For more background on the shareholder resolutions and advocacy efforts surrounding them, see our March 1st press release and March 17th press release.