Mayor Bill de Blasio detailed plans to invest $50 billion from the city’s municipal workers’ pension funds in “climate solutions” by 2035 at a Thursday news conference.
De Blasio said that the city’s efforts to use its pension funds to influence investments in renewable energy and away from fossil fuels will “literally save the world.”
The mayor said that between spending city funds to reduce carbon emissions or adapt city infrastructure, making the city’s energy supply and investments more sustainable is “job one,” in part because it can influence other city’s investment decisions, and because the city needs federal funds to make large infrastructure changes.
“I do believe there is a prioritization here,” he said. “We’re different in New York City. We can do incredibly bold things on a huge scale and then it pushes everyone else to do them.”
The pension funds will be invested in a range of technologies that aim to reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as electric vehicles, reducing pollution and capturing carbon dioxide from the air.
The effort follows on a 2018 plan to divest $5 billion from the city’s $270 billion pension fund from companies that own untapped fossil fuel reserves, such as oil, gas and coal.
“We are not divesting from other elements of the fossil fuel industry at this time,” said John Adler, director of the Mayor’s Office of Pensions and Investments.