This morning, in advance of Earth Day, Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner announced a nearly 50 percent decrease in the Rhode Island pension fund's exposure to companies that engage in the production and distribution of fossil fuels by this summer. The Treasurer made the announcement at Save the Bay in Providence, and was joined by Save the Bay Executive Director Jonathan Stone and Environment Council of Rhode Island President Priscilla De La Cruz.
"To continue delivering on the promise of retirement security for all 60,000 members of the Rhode Island pension system, and for all taxpayers, we must invest in the economy of the future," said General Treasurer Seth Magaziner. "As we celebrate Earth Day this week, I was pleased to announce that the pension fund has made significant progress towards this goal with a near-fifty percent reduction in the fund's exposure to fossil fuels by this summer. I believe that over the course of the next decade, the pension fund's exposure to fossil fuels can approach zero as the world shifts toward cleaner and more sustainable energy sources."
Under Treasurer Magaziner's Back to Basics investment strategy, the Rhode Island pension fund has consistently outperformed its peers and reached an all-time high of more than $9.5 billion. In order to continue to strengthen the fund's performance, the fund must continue to invest in clean energy and not in the large-scale burning of fossil fuels.
"Good policies that reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, like decreasing the exposure to fossil fuels in the Rhode Island pension fund, are important steps towards facing the climate challenge, protecting our environment, our health, and our state's fiscal health. There is big economic opportunity in continuing to disinvest in fossil fuels and reinvest in clean energy, and in adaptation and resilience to protect the people and places we love," said Priscilla De La Cruz, President of the Environment Council of Rhode Island.
As Treasurer, Magaziner has prioritized the environment by creating revolving funds at the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank that have invested more than $120 million in energy efficiency and renewable energy programs across Rhode Island. He is also a founding member of Climate Jobs RI, a coalition of labor and environmental groups committed to building a clean economy in Rhode Island, and a winner of Clean Water Action RI's Elected Official of the Year award. ###