NYC Pension Will Hire Consultant for Climate Risk, Measure Carbon Footprint of Portfolio

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The New York City Employees’ Retirement System this week approved the hiring of a consultant who will weigh in on the risk that climate change poses to the fund’s portfolio, according to a Bloomberg report.

Additionally, the system has asked the Comptroller’s office to measure the carbon footprint of the fund’s portfolio.

This comes four weeks after New York Mayor Bill de Blasio asked all of the city’s five pension funds to consider dropping all coal holdings.

More from Bloomberg:

New York City’s $55 billion civil-employees’ pension approved hiring a consultant to evaluate the risk climate change poses to its investments, seeking to avoid losses that could result from the ripple effects of rising temperatures.

The retirement systems’ board on Tuesday also directed the Bureau of Asset Management in the Comptroller’s office to measure and disclose the “carbon footprint” of the portfolio, according to the text of a resolution approved by trustees.

“A four degree increase will affect emerging markets, real estate, infrastructure, agriculture, timber, most asset classes — and will affect most countries in this world — in negative ways,” said Larry Schimmel, who represents New York City Public Advocate Tish James on the board of the civil employees’ fund. New York City has five public pension funds with assets totaling about $164 billion as of July 31.

A study released Oct. 21 and co-authored by economists at Stanford University and the University of California Berkeley estimated that average global incomes would be reduced by about 23 percent by 2100 if warming continues unchecked.

The New York City Employees’ Retirement System has a $55 billion portfolio.


Photo by Thomas Hawk via Flickr CC License 

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