By Will Parry
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has formally requested that the city’s two chief pension funds “refrain from future investments in fossil fuel companies and begin the process of divesting our pension portfolio from those companies.”
“Climate change is one of the most important challenges we currently face as a city and as a society,” McGinn said in a letter to the Seattle City Employees’ Retirement System (SCERS) Board and the City of Seattle Voluntary Deferred Compensation Plan Committee.
“I believe that Seattle ought to discourage these companies from extracting that fossil fuel, and divesting the pension fund from these companies is one way we can do that.”
Student activists at campuses across the country are calling on their college administrations to divests their fossil fuel holdings. Seattle is the first major city to take part in the campaign.
McGinn also committed to making sure that city funds stay out of the industry, writing that “The city’s cash pool is not currently invested in fossil fuel companies, and I already directed that we refrain from doing so in the future.”
Valued at $1.9 billion, SCERS is the largest investment portfolio yet to consider fossil fuel divestment.