We recently wrote about New York state’s move to divest from fossil fuels in their pension fund. Now, the state of Maine is adopting legislation to match that commitment and take it one step further.
Signed into law by Governor Janet Mills, the state’s new legislation bans any state pension fund or annuity from investing in stocks or securities of the 200 largest publicly traded fossil fuel companies. It also requires the board of trustees of the Maine Public Employees Retirement System (MainePERS) to review current investments and divest from fossil fuel holdings.
MainePERS currently manages a $16.5 billion public employee retirement fund with 7.7 percent of that invested in fossil fuels. MainePERS has said it does not yet have a plan in place for reallocating these investments, but it plans to do so shortly in accordance with the new law.
“It is past time for every other public pension to address the mounting climate risk in their portfolios by holding onto fossil fuel investments,” said Richard Brooks, climate finance director of Stand. earth. “These are a ticking time bomb and fiduciaries must act.”