for Union Leaders

Union leaders,

Below are several hundred pages of documents about fossil fuel divestment. We invite you to read these documents in order to pursue a more deep conversation about divestment.

Unions representing almost 400,000 working people have supported divestment. Those include SEIU locals across the country, the California Federation of Teachers representing 120,000 teachers, hundreds of thousands of nurses, professors’ unions, and public employees’ unions. You can see the list of unions supporting fossil fuel divestment here.

If you want to begin a conversation with us in person, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

You can reach us at divestpittsburgh@gmail.com.

Thank you for your time and attention.

Best,

Divest Pittsburgh


Resources

Some of ALEC’s Bills to Undermine

Workers’ Rights

  • Paycheck Protection Act
  • Prevailing Wage Repeal Act
  • Resolution in Opposition to Any Increase in the Starting (Minimum) Wage
  • Public Employees Portable Retirement Option PRO Act
  • Resolution Urging Congress to Modernize the Social Security System with Personal Retirement Accounts
  • Resolution Opposing “Card Check” and Forced, Compulsory Binding Arbitration
  • Right to Work Act

Environmental Protection

  • Resolution to Retain State Authority over Hydraulic Fracturing
  • Resolution in Opposition to EPA Regulation of Greenhouse Gases from Mobile Sources
  • Opposition to EPA Plan to Regulate Greenhouse Gases
  • State Sovereignty for Air Quality and Visibility Act
  • State Withdrawal from Regional Climate Initiatives
  • Resolution in Opposition of Carbon Dioxide Emission Standards

Carbon Underground 200

The Carbon Underground 200 identifies the 100 largest public coal companies, and the 100 largest public oil and gas companies, based on estimates of the potential CO2 emissions of their reported reserves as of November 2013. These estimates broadly confirm growing research on the exposure of public fossil fuel companies, especially those in the coal sector, to potential constraints and revaluation based on stranded assets.

Carbon Tracker Initiative

The Carbon Tracker Initiative is a team of financial, energy and legal experts with a ground breaking approach to limiting future greenhouse gas emissions. CTI introduced the concept of stranded assets to get people thinking about the implications of not adjusting investment in line with the emissions trajectories required to limit global warming.

Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math

When we think about global warming at all, the arguments tend to be ideological, theological and economic. But to grasp the seriousness of our predicament, you just need to do a little math. The (Copenhagen Accord) formally recognized that the increase in global temperature should be below two degrees Celsius.” And that “we agree that deep cuts in global emissions are required to hold the increase in global temperature below two degrees Celsius.” (about 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) Scientists estimate that humans can pour roughly 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by midcentury and still have some reasonable hope of staying below two degrees. But the amount of carbon already contained in the proven coal and oil and gas reserves of the fossil-fuel companies is 2,795. We have five times as much oil and coal and gas on the books as climate scientists think is safe to burn. We’d have to keep 80 percent of those reserves locked away underground to avoid that fate.

Institutional Pathways to Fossil-Free Investing

Based on the real-world experiences of leading asset managers and asset owners, this paper charts three distinctive pathways for institutional investors to follow in order to transition their portfolios away from fossil fuels and towards investment opportunities in a cleaner, more sustainable future.

Resilient Portfolios and Fossil Free Pensions

Climate change and the fossil fuel industry’s current business plan pose a pressing risk to city and state pension funds. If pension funds remain tied to past assumptions and ignore emerging trends, they could soon face increased risks and potentially severe losses to their portfolios. This paper highlights compelling evidence that fossil fuel divestment is not only a moral responsibility, but a feasible and prudent way to address this portfolio risk. The paper also provides a set of fossil free investing choices that can deliver solid returns, as well as help address the climate crisis, advance clean energy development, and increase the health and wellness of communities.

Building a Carbon Free Equity Portfolio

When the idea of fossil fuel screening is raised, the first thing an endowment committee, foundation board or private investor wants to know is whether screening will impose a penalty. While there is no definitive answer, the often-presume assumption of a return penalty is not consistently borne out by research. In fact, results from a wide range of studies on social and environmental screening do not provide a consensus on whether there has  been a return penalty or benefit from carbon screening.

Do the Investment Math: Building a Carbon Free Portfolio Webinar

Do the Investment Math Webinar from As You Sow on Vimeo.

Beyond Fossil Fuels: The Investment Case for Fossil Fuel Divestment

Analysis of historical data shows that over the past seven years eliminating the fossil fuel sector from a global benchmark index would have actually had a small positive return effect. Furthermore, much of the economic effect of excluding fossil fuel stocks could have been replicated with ‘fossil free’ energy portfolios consisting of energy efficiency and renewable energy stocks, with limited additional tracking error and improved returns.

ESG Issues Should Be Embedded in Legal Agreements Between Investors and Advisors, Report Finds.

A new report by the Asset Management Working Group of the United Nations Environment Program Finance Initiative argues that advisors who fail to raise ESG issues with clients face the risk of lawsuits. Second in a two-part series.

Standard and Poor’s What a Carbon-Constrained Future Could Mean for Oil Companies

Overview

• The financial models that use past performance and creditworthiness may be insufficient to guide investors looking to understand the possible effects of future carbon constraints on the oil sector.
• To better integrate climate change risk and credit analysis, we have undertaken a study with Carbon Tracker to assess the implications of such risk on moderately sized, independent, unconventional oil companies and major oil and gas producers.
• The results show that for the smaller companies, we see a deterioration in the financial risk profiles of these companies to a degree that would potentially lead to negative outlook revisions and then downgrades over 2014-2017.
• The effect on the majors would be more muted, and we project that they would likely remain consistent with metrics we consider commensurate with their respective ratings until 2016-2017.

Greenhouse-Gas Emission Targets for Limiting Warming to 2 degrees C

Social Cost of Carbon to Threaten Global Economy

A report published in the journal Nature Climate Change warns that worsening climate change impacts could lead to dramatic increases in the social cost of carbon unless short-term mitigation measures are taken.