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Treasurer: Pension fund on track to divest from fossil fuels

November 24, 2021 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island’s public pension fund is on track to completely divest from fossil fuels within the next decade, according to the state treasurer.

The treasurer’s office said late Tuesday that the amount invested with fossil fuel companies has already been reduced by half, from 6% to 3%. That represents a reduction of about $325 million. The office also said it was on course to achieving a fossil fuel-free investment portfolio for the state’s $10.64 billion pension fund for some public employees.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu signed an ordinance Monday designed to divest the city from fossil fuels, one of the latest moves to divest from the industry. The ordinance prohibits the use of public funds from being invested in the stocks, securities or other obligations of any company that derives more than 15% of its revenue from fossil fuels.

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Earlier this year, New York City officials said two pension funds for city workers would pull an estimated $4 billion in investments from fossil fuel companies in order to promote clean energy use.

Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner has said that the pension fund must shift capital away from the legacy industries of the past, toward technologies of the future.