Support FFCA's climate bill, SB 964!
SB 964, authored by Sen. Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica), is a groundbreaking bill that defines "climate-related financial risk" in law, and requires CalPERS and CalSTRS, the two largest public pension funds in the U.S., to take that risk into account when making investment decisions. It also requires the funds to report on climate risk in their portfolios, to the public and the California legislature. This is the first bill of its kind in the nation, and passing it this year—before the Global Climate Action Summit in September—will set an example for other states and other public funds. It's another way California leads on climate.
Fossil Free California is delivering petitions with constituent signatures to key Sacramento lawmakers at strategic times during the legislative session. The bill passed the full Senate on May 29, and is now on to the Assembly, which is more conservative and is likely to be more difficult. The next challenge is the Assembly Public Employees, Retirement, and Social Security Committee, which must approve it by June 29.
Some background: Fossil Free California and Environment California are co-sponsoring the bill. It was introduced in 2017 as SB 560, and held in committee; Senator Allen brought it back this year as SB 964. The bill has good support, from SEIU California and the California Teachers' Association as well as environmental groups from around the state; the CalSTRS board voted to take a "neutral"position on it.
Next steps: We'll be working to pass this bill through the summer, and we will need everyone's help. You only need to sign this petition once, but we hope you will also check the box telling us you'll be interested in making a district or Sacramento office visit to your representatives. We'll be in touch when the time is right!
Thank you for your support—and for your concern for the climate and our pension security.
From: [Your Name]
Please vote to pass SB 964, Senator Ben Allen's bill that ensures that CalPERS and CalSTRS take climate-related financial risk into account when making investment decisions, and report to the public on climate risk in their portfolios.
The risks our warming climate poses to financial markets—and economies globally—are inevitable and unpredictable. Long-term investors such as pension funds need to plan to minimize those risks before they affect their investments. CalPERS and CalSTRS have policies that require them to do just that; SB 964 sets an example for other public funds and other states. It's another essential way California can lead on climate.