350JUNEAU’s campaign to divest the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation and Alaska’s public pension funds from fossil fuels is part of a worldwide divestment campaign that holds the fossil fuel industry accountable for its culpability in the climate crisis.
350Juneau is working with other Alaskan climate activists to pressure the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation (APFC) Trustees and the Alaska Retirement Management Board (ARMB) to end their investments in fossil fuels.
We urge divestment:
- Due to fossil fuel investments performing poorly economically and are likely to be unproductive investments in the future.
- To mitigate the worst impacts of climate change by cutting carbon emissions.
- To curtail the extreme influence that the fossil fuel industry has over Alaskan and US politics.
APFC and Alaska pension funds have been missing out on significant increases in the value of their managed funds by their mistaken loyalty to fossil fuel investments in violation of their statutory duty.
WHAT WE ARE ASKING
350Juneau has testified in-person and telephonically numerous times to APFC trustees and the ARMB and has requested information related to fossil fuel investments.
Click here to see our testimonies to APFC and ARMB! (link to our recent testimonies to APFC and ARMB)
We have asked the APFC trustees and the ARMB:
- For a full account of fossil fuel investments.
- For the fund managers to conduct a climate risk assessment of their portfolios to review the impact of climate change on investment returns.
- To institute prudent fossil fuel divestment strategies.
Our overall divestment goal is to achieve a just, equitable, and healthier society based on renewable energy sources without the deadly pollution caused by burning oil, gas, and coal.
WHY A DIVESTMENT CAMPAIGN?
In the past decade, APFC’s and Alaska pension funds’ fossil fuel investments have greatly underperformed the overall market. Looking forward, fossil fuel investments will lose even more of their luster as the world shifts to post carbon-based economies. Much of the current value of fossil fuel companies lies in proven reserves. About 80% of known fossil fuel reserves will need to stay in the ground if we are to avoid the worst effects of global heating.
By shifting public support and money away from the fossil fuel industry, we can break the hold that they have on our economy and our government while making way for a just transition to renewable energy.
Our campaigns aren’t just about winning a “yes” on divestment. They tell the story of people power against the fossil fuel industry. By challenging the fossil fuel industry’s social license, we can break the hold it has over our economy and government and make way for community-led solutions to the climate crisis as we shift away from the paradigm of fossil fuel dependency.
WHY TARGET FOSSIL FUEL CORPORATIONS?
Exxon scientists made startlingly accurate predictions about the extreme dangers of climate change as early as 1982—and then spent billions of dollars on a misinformation campaign to sow public doubt about the reality of climate change.
Exxon and their allies didn’t need to convince the public that the climate crisis wasn’t happening. They just had to muddy the waters enough to prevent us from doing anything. They provoked uncertainty, suggesting that the climate crisis isn’t happening, or if it is, maybe it’s not caused by humans burning fossil fuels. (Of course, it is happening, and it is caused by humans.) The result has been social and government inaction and the climate tragedy we are experiencing now. Big Oil has spent billions of dollars to fund campaigns that lie to the public, to lobby against progressive climate legislation and to support politicians who vote to keep subsidizing fossil fuels. If it’s wrong to wreck the planet, it’s wrong to profit from that wreckage.
WE ARE WINNING!
Since the inception of fossil fuel divestment campaigns in 2012, spearheaded by 350.org, they have gone viral. What started as a trickle of early divestment announcements from pioneering progressive institutions has now swept up some of the world’s largest pension funds and insurers.
From Melbourne to Paris to New York these campaigns have been successful in numerous cities, and with universities, foundations and even the nation of Ireland. Major investment firms like BlackRock, JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs are sounding the alarm about the risk of fossil fuel investments.
The global commitment to divest fossil fuel assets has now topped $14 trillion by 1195 institutions. Significant among these is Norway’s $1.1 trillion sovereign fund, which will divest companies dedicated to oil and gas exploration and production in a bid to shield itself from a long-term fall in oil prices.
In 2018, Ireland, which has an €8.9 billion ($10.4 billion) sovereign development fund, became the world’s first country to commit to divest from all fossil fuels.
Divestment by public pension funds demonstrates how government officials understand the importance of meeting their fiduciary duty to protect their assets and to tackle the climate crisis head on. Over 158 pension funds have already committed to fossil fuel divestment. In a recent study, the Toronto-based firm, Corporate Knights, revealed that three major state pension funds in California and Colorado lost over $19 billion collectively as a result of investments in fossil fuel industries over a ten-year period.
The world-wide fossil fuel divestment campaign is signaling to investors and politicians that the “end is near” for fossil fuels and it is leveling the playing field for the growth of renewable energy that can transform our economy and provide real climate solutions. These campaigns, along with our communications work to spread the narrative of keeping carbon in the ground, is challenging the fossil fuel industry and pressuring politicians to take action on climate change.
You can read a few of our testimonies here.
350Juneau will continue our vigorous campaign to divest Alaska’s public funds from dirty fuels and to move Alaska beyond oil.
Thanks to DivestInvest for this great video!
Also check out the worldwide Go Fossil Free divestment campaign.