Tuesday, April 8, 2008

NY pensions to put $500 million in "green" tech: DiNapoli

From Reuters:

New York State's pension fund will invest $500 million in green ventures, including clean technology and renewable energy, over the next three years, the state comptroller said on Monday.

Thomas DiNapoli, a Democrat, who runs the pensions, said in a statement: "It's not just about doing good for the environment; going green is good for the bottom line too."

Last month during the WSJ's big ECO:nomics shindig the WSJ's Environmental Capital blog had a post,
How Much Green Do Shareholders Want?:

...Mindy Lubber, runs a $5 trillion coalition of investors pushing companies to come clean on what climate change means for them—and how they plan to deal with it in the future.
On a stage together for the first time at The Wall Street Journal’s “ECO:nomics” conference today in California—well-separated, for certain—the two shareholder gadflys painted a radically different picture of what shareholders should care about today. Judging just by the money they manage—and the wholly unscientific applause-meter from the crowd—it seems Ms. Lubber’s CERES coaltion is so far carrying the day.

Ms. Lubber, wearing a radiant green jacket, rejected suggestions she pesters anybody. Corporate boards have a “fiduciary duty to analyze risk,” she says. “We just want to know the scorecard on what has become a fundamental economic issue.” ...

I commented:

Three things:
1) Mr. Thapa, I fear you have mistaken Milloy for Lubber (or their respective positions) see next.
2) Where’s the “Mr. Milloy, resplendent in a COAL black Brioni sportcoat…”
3)Ceres members have $5,000,000,000,000 in (mainly) pension assets. They have invested $1,700,000,000 in renewable energy.If my abacus is working right, that is 1/30 of 1% of assets.Not exactly walking the walk.Surely they could have put 50 Bil. (1%) into wind farms?If T. Boone Pickens can commit up to $6 Bil. @ age 80…http://blogs.wsj.com/environmentalcapital/2007/09/19/keeping-up-with-t-boone/
Comment by Climateer - March 13, 2008 at 9:01 pm

I was typing too fast and forgot to add that the CERES INCR members are mainly public pension funds and union funds, which makes their failure to walk the walk a bit more hypocritical.
The New York State's pension fund is a member of CERES INCR.
The big dogs are CalPers and CalStrs with about $400 billion between them. AFSCME and the SEIU are two of the union members.

Some of our previous posts on the topic:

At U.N., Investors Try to Divine How Soon U.S. Will Go Green, AND Climateer's "Line of the Day"

The Staff Attorneys of the SEC Deserve a Raise

SEC Pressed on Climate-Change Disclosures and When will Warren Buffett get on Board the Love Train?*

A Word of Advice for the Petitioners to the SEC on Climate Disclosure

...As fiduciaries you are exposing the owners of your portfolios to significant foreseeable risk if you have suspicions about the names in your portfolios and continue to hold them.When my favorite counselor returns from hobnobbing at the St. Tropez Regatta (jeez, what am I doing at a keyboard?) I'll know more.As things stand right now and being somewhat conversant with judicial and regulatory interpretations of the Prudent Man Rule*, there is liability....

*Here are Justice Putnam's exact words:

Those with the responsibility to invest money for others should act with prudence, discretion, intelligence, and regard for the safety of capital as well as for income.