Photo: Martin Meissner/AP
Maine has become one of the most progressive states in the United States, showing its commitment to climate protection as it passes a law to divest from fossil fuels. This action should serve as a great example for others to stop investing in an industry that directly contributes to climate change.
The bill was filed by Governor Janet Mills. It instructs the state's $17 billion public employee pension fund to divest $1.3 billion from coal, oil, and gas interests within the next five years, and the Treasury to do the same with other state monies, reported Independent.
Richard Brooks from Stand.earth, a grassroots environmental organization that is coordinating the national Climate Safe Pensions Network, said that if Maine can divest responsibly and thoughtfully, there are no more excuses for any other pension fund and legislature in the USA. “It is past time for every other public pension to address the mounting climate risk in their portfolios by holding onto fossil fuel investments. These are a ticking time bomb and fiduciaries must act," he added.
The state of New York and the city of New York are going to refuse to invest in the industry. Minnesota has also abandoned coal interests. Some other major funds, including the City of London, the Norwegian Sovereign Fund, and the New York State Common Retirement Fund, also pledged to take their money out of the oil and gas industry. However, Maine will forever go down in history as the first state in the USA to pass a law to divest from fossil fuels.
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