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Two NYC Pension Funds Implement Net Zero 2040 Plans

Two of the five pension funds in the New York City (NYC) Retirement Systems have implemented plans to achieve net zero emissions in their investment portfolios by 2040. The NYC Employees’ Retirement System (NYCERS) and the Teachers’ Retirement System of the City of New York (TRS) voted to approve emissions disclosure (Scopes 1, 2 and 3), interim reduction targets, corporate and investment manager engagement strategies, climate solutions investments, and continue the phase out of fossil fuels. In 2015, NYCERS and TRS divested from thermal coal and from 2017-2022 the funds conducted “comprehensive” climate risk assessments, proceeded to divest from fossil fuel reserve owners, and doubled investments in climate solutions. Each of the five pension funds in the US$248.2 billion NYC Retirement Systems has an independent board of trustees, with the trustees of the US$79.3 billion NYCERS pension fund approving the net zero plan in February and the US$93.4 billion TRS pension fund voting for their plan Tuesday. The net zero implementation plan is comprised of four broad strategies: disclosing emissions and setting interim targets, including a reduction of portfolio emissions by 32% by 2025 and 59% by 2030 on the way to 100% in 2040, engaging companies to achieve net-zero emission goals, investing in climate change solutions such as renewable energy efficiency, pollution prevention and low-carbon buildings, and divesting to reduce risk.

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