MPERS Resolution

Sample resolution urging the Maine Public Employees Retirement System (MPERS) to divest from publicly-traded fossil fuel companies.

WHEREAS the climate crisis is a serious threat to current and future generations here in XXX and around the world;

WHEREAS, The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report found that global warming is already causing costly disruption of human and natural systems throughout the world including the melting of Arctic ice, sea level rise and increased ocean acidity, flooding and drought; and

WHEREAS, Almost every government in the world has agreed through the 2009 Copenhagen Accord that any warming above a 2°C (3.6°F) rise would be unsafe, and that humans can only pour about 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere to maintain this limit; and

WHEREAS, For the purposes of this resolution, a “fossil fuel company” shall be defined as any of the two hundred publicly-traded companies with the largest coal, oil, and gas reserves as measured by the gigatons of carbon dioxide that would be emitted if those reserves were extracted and burned, as listed in the Carbon Tracker Initiative’s “Unburnable Carbon” report; and

WHEREAS, In its “Unburnable Carbon” report, the Carbon Tracker Initiative found that fossil fuel companies possess proven fossil fuel reserves that would release approximately 2,795 gigatons of CO2 if they are burned, which is five times the amount that can be released without exceeding 2°C of warming; and

WHEREAS the City of XXX has a responsibility to protect the lives and livelihoods of its inhabitants from the threat of climate change; and,

Include any past resolutions the city has made to show it’s commitment to tackling climate change, for example: WHEREAS, The City and County of San Francisco Board of Supervisors adopted Resolution No. 0158-02 committing the City and County of San Francisco to a greenhouse gas emissions reductions goal of 20% below 1990 levels by the year 2012; and

WHEREAS the City of XXX believes that the investments of the Maine Public Employees Retirement System (MPERS) should support a future where all citizens can live healthy lives without the negative impacts of a warming environment; and,

WHEREAS, more than 100 cities and states in the US have launched campaigns to have their institutions divest from fossil fuel companies and over ten major cities have already agreed to pursue divestment; 

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the City Council of XXX, on behalf of their employee members of MPERS and on behalf of their tax paying citizens who contribute to MPERS, urges the Board of MPERS to review their investment portfolio to identify any holdings that include direct or indirect investments in fossil fuel companies; and, be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the XXX City Council urges MPERS to immediately cease any new investments in fossil fuel companies or in commingled assets that include holdings in fossil fuel companies; and, be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, That, for investments in commingled funds that are found to include fossil fuel companies, the XXX City Council urges MPERS to contact the fund managers and request that the fossil fuel companies be removed from the funds; and, be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the XXX City Council urges MPERS to ensure that none of its directly held or commingled assets include holdings in fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds within 5 years as determined by the Carbon Tracker list; and,

LET IT BE FURTHER RESOLVED that the XXX City Council urges MPERS to prepare a report regarding options for investing pension funds in a way that further maximizes positive impacts by seeking out investments including, but not limited to, clean technology & renewable energy, sustainable companies or projects, and sustainable communities; investments that, whenever possible, support local projects and local jobs; and,

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Board of MPERS release annual updates, available to the public, detailing progress made towards full divestment.

Signed:          Date: