New York's pension fund will bar investments in oil sands companies that are not moving toward transitioning to a cleaner, low-carbon fuel, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli said Monday morning.
The move is expected to affect seven companies who have business before the pension fund that have not shown they are transitioning out of oil sands.
Barring investments in oil sands companies is part of a broader effort to leverage the state's pension fund over the years to bolster pushes to combat climate change. DiNapoli in the past has moved to divest from fossil fuel companies and other entities.
At the same time, the state's pension fund has been tasked with transitioning its portfolio to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.
New York operates the third largest public pension plan in the country.
“As nations around the world become increasingly serious about addressing the threat of climate change and as market forces drive a low-carbon economic transition, we need to make sure our investments line up with this reality,” DiNapoli said. “We have carefully reviewed companies in the oil sands industry and are restricting investments in those that do not have viable plans to adapt to the low-carbon future. Companies responsible for large greenhouse gas emissions like those in this industry, pose significant risks for investors.”
As part of Monday's announcement, New York's pension fund will not hold debt or equity securities through an actively managed account or vehicle in the seven companies. More than $7 million in securities held by funds will be eventually sold.