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Licata to Push for Public Pension Coal Divestment in Seattle

City of Seattle

Licata to Push for Public Pension Coal Divestment in Seattle

SEATTLE – Following the California Legislature’s vote to divest their 2 public pension systems from coal earlier this month, the Seattle City Employees’ Retirement System (SCERS) Board will host Alex Berhardt, an expert in public pensions, to present his Mercer Report findings tomorrow morning, per Councilmember Nick Licata‘s request. The report highlights the potential impact of climate change on investments. The SCERS Board is the sole authority for how public pension dollars are invested.

The Mercer Report, titled “Investing in a Time of Climate Change,” is a report from the investment community to itself, written in collaboration with 16 investment partners, collectively responsible for more than $1.5 trillion. Mercer is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies.

Since becoming chair of the SCERS Board, Councilmember Licata has urged the board to join the worldwide divestment movement and have Seattle divest its public pension system from coal in 2016. 

Former Mayor Greg Nickels supports divesting the Seattle City Employees’ Retirement System from coal.  He said, “Sharon and I chose to make our careers in public service, and our pensions are important to ensure a secure retirement for us. A century ago buggy-whips seemed like a good investment but proved not to be. Years from now investments in fossil fuels will seem equally archaic. The recent volatility in world markets gives me concern that our pension system may already be at-risk. I applaud Councilman Licata’s work to secure our pensions for the future and urge the Pension Board to support his efforts.”

For additional information, click here.

Presentation and discussion about coal divestment at monthly Seattle City Employees’ Retirement System (SCERS) Board meeting

Thursday, September 10
9 a.m.

Pacific Building
720 Third Avenue, 9th Floor, Seattle 98104

Councilmember Nick Licata (Board Chair)
Seattle City Employees’ Retirement System Board members
Alex Berhardt, author of the Mercer Report


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