Senator Lena Gonzalez Announces Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill to Advance California Climate Goals

February 17, 2022

SB 1173 would align current CalPERS and CalSTRS pension fund investment practices with
California climate change goals by divesting from fossil fuel companies

Sacramento, Calif. – On February, 17 2022 Senator Lena A. Gonzalez (D-Long Beach) introduced SB 1173 that would prohibit the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) from investing in fossil fuel companies, and require that they divest any current investments by 2027. Moving away from these types of investments will help advance California’s climate change goals by divesting from carbon emitting companies. SB 1173 seizes the momentum of the worldwide divestment movement and continues the bold and progressive actions that California must take to address climate change.
 
“As a leader in the fight against climate change, California must align the investment choices we make with our moral and environmental goals,” said Senator Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach). “Investing billions in the fossil fuel companies that are polluting our environment while at the same time trying to meet ambitious emissions reduction goals is contradictory and incongruous. SB 1173 will ensure we remain true to our values and honor our commitment as a State to protecting the environment and the health and future of all Californians, including historically disadvantaged communities of color that are disproportionately impacted by the hazardous pollutants released into our communities by these companies.”
 
"When it comes to climate change, California must put its money where its mouth is,” said Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco). “We can’t invest in fossil fuel companies that pollute our air and water and hurt frontline communities and expect to still be a leader on climate. That’s why I support Senator Gonzalez’s SB 1173, which will align CalSTRS and CalPERS with California’s climate goals.”
 
"For the past eight  years CalSTRS and CalPERS have ignored the calls of students, teachers, and state workers to divest their pensions, we are grateful to Senator Gonzalez for leading the way in today's legislative push for pension divestment," said Miriam Eide, Coordinating Director at Fossil Free California.
 
“Divestment is the right thing to do for climate change and is a smart financial move for our pensions. We have to stop pretending that fossil fuel companies are good corporate citizens,” said Carlos Davidson, CFA Peace & Justice Committee member and retired San Francisco State professor. “CFA wields a powerful credential in California, and we can best serve our principles of social and racial justice by taking a lead in climate justice for future generations of students, families and communities.”
 
"Divestment is essential to the wellbeing of the large community of people of color being affected by fossil fuel investments, along with the entirety of the planet, which is being greatly harmed,” said Anaya Sayal, Member of Youth Vs Apocalypse. “Fossil fuels are heavily contributing to the climate crisis, placing future generations in a horrible situation, even though the current generation could make great strides towards solving this issue so the burden does not completely fall on them."
 
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Senator Gonzalez represents the 33rd Senate District, which includes the City of Long Beach and portions of South Los Angeles and Southeast Los Angeles including the cities of Bell, Bell Gardens, Cudahy, Huntington Park, Lakewood, Lynwood, Maywood, Paramount, Signal Hill, and South Gate. Senator Gonzalez lives in Long Beach with her husband Adam and three sons.
 
Senator Scott Wiener represents San Francisco and northern San Mateo County in the California State Senate. Elected in 2016, Senator Wiener focuses extensively on housing, transportation, civil rights, criminal justice reform, clean energy, and alleviating poverty. He chairs the Senate Housing Committee and is Vice Chair of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus.
 
Fossil Free California works to end financial support for climate-damaging fossil fuels and promotes the transition to a socially just and environmentally sustainable society. Our campaigns center on pressuring California's state pensions to divest from fossil fuels.
 
The California Faculty Association is an anti-racist and social justice union that represents more than 29,000 tenure-line instructional faculty, lecturers, librarians, counselors, and coaches on the 23 campuses of the California State University system, from Cal Poly Humboldt in the north, to San Diego State in the south. They advocate for students, higher education, and faculty rights. Learn more about CFA at calfac.org.
 
Youth Vs. Apocalypse is a diverse group of young climate justice activists working together to lift the voices of youth, in particular youth of color and working class youth. Their collective action aims to fight for a livable climate and an equitable, sustainable, and just world.