Cambridge City
MA

Policy Order
POR 2019 #64
ORDER ADOPTED
Feb 25, 2019 5:30 PM

City Council support of retirement fund fossil fuel divestment bill.

Information

Department:City Clerk's Office, JDSponsors:Vice Mayor Jan Devereux, Councillor Quinton Zondervan, Councillor Dennis J. Carlone
Category:Policy Order

Attachments

  1. Printout

Body

WHEREAS:

One of the expressed goals of the Cambridge City Council is to "deepen our commitment to sustainable use of energy and strengthen our capacity for resilience”; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

On June 24, 2013, the City Council voted unanimously to adopt Policy Order #9, requesting that the City Manager urge the Trustees of the Cambridge Retirement Board (CRB) to review Cambridge's investment portfolio and consider divestment from fossil fuel companies; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

On June 26, 2017, the City Council again voted unanimously to adopt Policy Order #4, which made the same request; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

A response was received on October 23, 2017 from the Cambridge Retirement Board and the Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission (PERAC) indicating that a statutory restriction would be necessary to limit the investing powers of the Cambridge Retirement Board in this manner; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

Before the General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts there is a bill currently under consideration that could provide such a statutory restriction; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

This bill, HD.2817/SD.505: “An Act authorizing independent retirement systems to divest from fossil fuel companies,” is sponsored by Representative Dylan Fernandes (Barnstable, Dukes & Nantucket), Representative Jay Livingstone (8th Suffolk) and Senator Mark Pacheco (1st Plymouth & Bristol), and co-sponsored by many members of the Cambridge legislative delegation; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

As the City and the Commonwealth stand at odds with a federal administration intent on reversing all progress made in recent years to protect the environment, the City Council must stand up to the major fossil fuel companies to protect our environment for generations to come; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

By divesting Cambridge’s retirement pension fund from fossil fuel companies, the City will be taking yet another step to combat pollution and commit to fighting climate change; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

Research by the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment indicates that divestment from fossil fuels would have a minimal estimated effect on fund returns; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

The Cambridge Retirement Board portfolio’s direct and indirect fossil fuel holdings at the time of the October 2017 report were de minimis, at 4.2% of the total $1.2 billion holdings, and one can project that those figures have remained similar since that time, and expect that changing such a small percentage of holdings would have a negligible impact on returns; now therefore be it

 

 

RESOLVED:

That the City Council go on record supporting HD.2817/SD.505, and encouraging the Cambridge Legislative Delegation to continue to act in support of this bill; and be it further

 

 

RESOLVED:

That the City Clerk be and hereby is requested to forward a suitably engrossed copy of this resolution to the Cambridge Legislative Delegation on behalf of the entire City Council.

 

Meeting History

Feb 25, 2019 5:30 PM Video City Council Regular Meeting
draft Draft
RESULT:ORDER ADOPTED