(Bloomberg) — New York State’s retirement fund, the third- largest U.S. public pension, will shift $2 billion of its holdings away from big emitters of greenhouse gases as part of a new fund created with the help of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli announced the fund Friday while at an investor panel on the sidelines of the United Nations climate-change conference in Paris. The Common Retirement Fund, managing pensions for more than 1 million beneficiaries, will also plow $1.5 billion into a program supporting low-pollution investments such as wind farms, he said in a statement.
Portfolio managers controlling trillions of dollars in assets have been trumpeting their decisions to shift away from coal and other fossil-fuel businesses lately, but it’s often unclear how much money is actually exiting the sector. The New York announcement offers one of the most concrete examples so far of a big investor moving a tangible amount toward more climate-friendly companies.
“There is no question that climate change is one of the biggest risks facing global investors across multiple sectors,” said Vicki Fuller, chief investment officer of the fund, which manages $173.5 billion. “By shifting our capital to companies with lower emissions and comparable returns, we are sending the message that our investment dollars will follow businesses with strong environmental practices.”