Every spring, publicly-traded banks and investors hold their annual Shareholder meetings. For years, 198 methods and our allies in the Stop the Money Pipeline Coalition have shown up to these shareholder meetings to demand they stop investing in fossil fuels and the climate crisis.
This year, we’re turning up the pressure with a big day of Action on March 21 – just before Shareholder season starts – to tell those banks and investors to cut out climate funding, or we’ll cut up our credit and debit cards. But there’s another big group we need to ask to stand with us before the shareholder meetings – public pensions and money managers.
A huge amount of the money invested in big fossil banks — like Chase, Citi, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo; and especially in big hedge funds like Blackrock and Vangaurd — is actually the retirement savings of public employees like teachers, firefighters, and state employees.
Maybe you’re one of those retirees, who gets a pension fund from a retirement fund like the The California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) or the The New York State Common Retirement fund. Maybe you have a 401k account with Vangaurd, State Street, or another big investment fund. Or maybe you just live in one of the many states that hires Blackrock to help them manage investments.
Whether you’re a retiree, a public sector worker who’s counting on a pension, or just someone who’s concerned about the planet with no extra money or investments to spare – the State Treasurers and fund managers who will attend this year’s shareholder meetings need to hear from you, now.
This April and May, those investment managers will vote on at least four shareholder proposals related to climate justice and Indigenous rights.
- A resolution calling for a time-bound phase-out of financing for companies engaged in fossil fuel expansion.
- A resolution demanding that big banks report on how they respect internationally-recognized human rights standards for Indigenous Peoples.
- An anti-greenwashing resolution that would push banks to adopt real climate targets.
- A resolution calling on big banks to publish a comprehensive plan to transition away from fossil fuels.
How many pension managers vote for or against those shareholder proposals will go a long way to determining whether and how quickly big banks and insurance companies end investments in fossil fuels and climate chaos. Shareholders, after all, are literally the people who own the company.
It’s vital that major public pensions and asset mangers ― which collectively own trillions of dollars of shares in big banks and insurance companies ― vote to support these resolutions. But they will only do so if the people who vote for them, invest with them, and pay their salaries to manage those pension and asset accounts speak up.
Otherwise, it’s all business as usual, and business as usual is killing the planet. But the people killing the planet have names and addresses. And this spring, they have a shareholder meeting to get to
Before they get there, sign the petition to demand that State Treasurers and public pensions vote YES on critical climate justice and Indigenous rights resolutions this spring. Then, sign up to take action with us on March 21 and show the banks that we mean business!