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UAlbany faculty wants pension fund to divest from fossil fuel companies

May 17, 2021 5:30 am

Rick Karlin is reporting for the Times Union the members of the University at Albany’s faculty senate are calling on their pension fund administrator to divest from fossil fuel companies. “In passing this resolution calling upon TIAA to divest its fossil fuel holdings, the academic and professional faculty of UAlbany took a strong stand on behalf of environmental justice and sustainability,” said Ron Friedman, a UAlbany associate professor of psychology. Friedman helped push through the divestment resolution, which was approved May 13. TIAA, or Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America, is the 1.3 trillion-dollar fund that invests on behalf of State University system instructors. The SUNY system is TIAA’s largest university client. A statewide resolution for divestment passed on April 24. TIAA reportedly has $10 billion invested in industries promoting fossil fuel production, distribution and consumption. The fund has also invested in firms that are cutting down forest land in Brazil. A TIAA spokesperson said, "We are actively exploring more investments, companies and technologies – and agricultural and timberland properties – that support a transition to a low-carbon economy or that remove carbon from the environment," adding that it still has a fiduciary obligation to participants or retirees who rely on its funds. Read the full story in the Times Union.