Monthly Archives: November 2019

Our Plan: A List of Actions for the SBI Board Members to Take

The tools to counteract climate change and protect our water are available to us right now. Four elected officials form the State Board of Investments have the ability to act to protect our pensions from risky and unethical fossil fuel investments: Governor Tim Walz, Secretary of State Steve Simon, State Auditor Julie Blaha and Attorney General Keith Ellison. We’ve drawn up a list of actions we want these board members to take. These actions constitute a step-by-step plan to study the financial risk of continuing to invest in fossil fuels.

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The financial forecast for carbon industries is bleak. Other countries around the world, as well as many corporations, institutions and government bodies here in the US, are dumping fossil fuel stocks as they continue to under-perform. It’s time for the four SBI board members to take action and make Minnesota the next to divest.

Actions Taken to Support Divestment: A Timeline

2015 

  • Minneapolis City Council Resolution pledging continued divestment from fossil fuels and urging all institutions that invest significant amounts of capital to divest from fossil fuels.

2016

  • Minnesota Association of Professional Employees (MAPE) delegate assembly resolution encouraging the State Board of Investment to divest from fossil fuels and reinvest in cleaner energy options.
  • Saint Paul City Council Resolution pledging continued divestment from fossil fuels and urging all institutions that invest significant amounts of capital to divest from fossil fuels.
  • Companion bills in the Minnesota Legislature directing the State Board of Investment to study the financial impacts of divesting from fossil fuels. Chief authors were Senator Sandra Pappas and Representative Melissa Hortman.

2017

  • MAPE resolution encouraging the Minnesota State Retirement System to list one or more fossil-free investment choices in their core investment options for Deferred Compensation.
  • Companion bills in the Minnesota Legislature directing the State Board of Investment to study the financial impacts of staying invested in fossil fuels. Chief authors were Senator Sandra Pappas and Representative Paul Thissen.

2018

  • Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board resolution calling on the State Board of Investment to cease immediately investing in fossil fuels and divest over the period of five years from fossil fuel companies that pose unnecessary risk to employee pension funds.
  • Continuation of the 2017 bills in the legislature.

2019

  • Divestment Forum before the DFL Environmental Caucus meeting and subsequent passage of a resolution calling for divestment of State Board of Investment holdings in fossil fuel companies to be a part of the DFL platform for 2020.
  • Companion bills in the Minnesota Legislature laying out the danger of climate change to Minnesota and the world and directing the State Board of Investment to study the financial impacts of climate change on the security of the state pension. Chief authors were Senator Sandra Pappas and Representative Jamie Long. 
  • Minneapolis Federation of Teachers and Education Minnesota board resolutions calling for divestment of pension funds from fossil fuel companies.