California Senate Passes Bill Mandating Coal Divestment for CalPERS, CalSTRS


The California Senate this week passed a sweeping climate change-oriented bill, which includes a provision requiring CalPERS and CalSTRS to divest from coal holdings.

The two pension funds hold around $300 million in coal-related assets.

More from the East Bay Express:

The California State Senate voted today to urge the California Public Employees Retirement System and California State Teachers Retirement System to divest from coal companies due to their massive greenhouse gas emissions that are fueling climate change.


The state Senate’s vote is at odds with the pension funds. Both CalPERS and CalSTRS have adopted so-called engagement policies instead of divestment. Last July, Anne Simpson, the senior portfolio manager and director of global governance for CalPERS, wrote in an op-ed for the Sacramento Bee that CalPERS has been “at the forefront of tackling climate change issues through policy advocacy, engagement with companies and investments in climate change solutions,” and that “divestment means losing a seat at the table” to press for these kinds of changes. CalSTRS spokesperson Ricardo Duran told the Express that CalSTRS is studying the climate threat of coal, but that the fund has made no commitment to divest.

The bill now goes to the General Assembly.

Photo by  Paul Falardeau via Flickr CC License

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