For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Lindsay Meiman, lindsay@350.org, (347) 460-9082

As 1000+ Institutions Divest, New York State Comptroller DiNapoli Keeps Negotiating With ExxonMobil

WASHINGTON - As New Yorkers escalate urgent calls for State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli to divest and cut ties with fossil fuel companies responsible for the climate crisis, DiNapoli announced plans today to once again introduce a shareholder resolution requesting ExxonMobil reduce emissions. This comes as global climate talks in Poland come to a close with the Trump administration remaining steadfast in supporting fossil fuel interests, even as UN reports underscore the urgency of rapidly transitioning off fossil fuels to renewable energy.

“As long as he invests New Yorker’s money into rogue oil corporations like ExxonMobil, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli dangerously remains inertia’s avatar on climate,” said Betámia Coronel, native New Yorker and US National Organizer with 350.org. “UN reports warn that we must rapidly transform our economy to 100% renewable energy and keep fossil fuels in the ground, yet DiNapoli touts ‘talking to Exxon’ while failing to reduce the state pension fund’s climate footprint. Tom DiNapoli is failing New Yorkers and his fiduciary duty until he divests from all fossil fuels.”

Investigative reports from InsideClimate News and the Los Angeles Times revealed executives at Exxon knew about climate change as far back as the 1950s, yet continue to bankroll politicians and front-groups to sow misinformation. New York’s state Attorney General is suing ExxonMobil for lying to shareholders. Last week at COP24, while DiNapoli announced a bump in ‘sustainable’ investments, a report revealed that over 1000 institutions around the world representing nearly $8 trillion in assets have committed to divest.

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Notable commitments in New York alone include the New York City Employee Retirement System, the Rockefeller Brothers and Family Funds, The New School, Park Slope Synagogue, Riverside Church, Columbia University, the City of Ithaca, and more. Yet Comptroller DiNapoli’s ‘invest and talk’ approach makes New York State’s more than $200 billion pension fund a laggard.

“Comptroller DiNapoli should stop helping climate-destroying oil and gas corporations like Exxon by pouring the public’s money into them,” said Rachel Rivera, a Sandy survivor and member of New York Communities for Change. “The oil and gas industry loves him because he just keeps saying pretty please while they go on causing the climate crisis. Pretty please with sugar on it won’t work either: it’s time to stop handing corporations like Exxon billions of dollars.”

In October, an independent study by research firm Corporate Knights revealed that the state pension fund would be $22 billion richer if it had divested a decade ago, amounting to nearly $20,000 per pension member.

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350 is the red line for human beings, the most important number on the planet. The most recent science tells us that unless we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, we will cause huge and irreversible damage to the earth. But solutions exist. All around the world, a movement is building to take on the climate crisis, to get humanity out of the danger zone and below 350. This movement is massive, it is diverse, and it is visionary. We are activists, scholars, and scientists. We are leaders in our businesses, our churches, our governments, and our schools. We are clean energy advocates, forward-thinking politicians, and fearless revolutionaries. And we are united around the world, driven to make our planet livable for all who come after us.

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