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Draft resolution for the Santa Cruz City Council regarding CalPERS divestment from fossil fuels 

 

WHEREAS, the climate crisis is a serious threat to current and future generations here in Santa Cruz and around the world, and 

WHEREAS, the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report found that global warming is already causing costly disruption of human and natural systems throughout the world, and 

WHEREAS, the Carbon Tracker Initiative found that fossil fuel companies possess proven fossil fuel reserves that would release 2,800 gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere if they are burned, which is over five times the amount that can be released without exceeding 2 degrees Celsius of global warming, and 

WHEREAS, the City of Santa Cruz and its employees contribute to and rely on retirement benefits from, the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), and 

WHEREAS, CalPERS, with over two million members and $459 billion in assets, has a significant fraction of those assets fossil fuel holdings, and 

WHEREAS, both the City and County of Santa Cruz (and other jurisdictions in California and several other states) have active lawsuits against the major fossil fuel companies for: (a) damages caused by 1 rising sea levels, severe wildfires, drought, and extreme weather events, whose increased frequency and intensity are primarily due to greenhouse gas pollution from continued use of fossil fuels, and (b) the ongoing and future costs to jurisdictions to mitigate such harms, [https://theconversation.com/more-than-two-dozen-cities-and-states-1 aresuing-big-oil-over-climate-change-they-just-got-a-boost-from-the-ussupreme-court-205009]  and

 

WHEREAS, these multiple active city and county lawsuits against the major fossil fuel companies represent a potential major financial risk to both current and future investments in such companies, thereby putting future CalPERS-funded retirement benefits at risk, and 

 

WHEREAS, the Climate Action Plan of the City of Santa Cruz, reflecting the City’s determination to address climate change, has set goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and WHEREAS, CalPERS investments in fossil fuels negatively impact the ability of our citizens to thrive on this planet, and are in direct opposition to the goals of the City of Santa Cruz Climate Action Plan, and 

 

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Santa Cruz City Council officially request that CalPERS divest completely from investments in fossil fuels by 2030, and 

 

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Santa Cruz City Council urge CalPERS, to invest in sustainable energy companies and projects, and 

 

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Santa Cruz City Council endorse SB 252 (Gonzalez) - The Fossil Fuel Divestment Act - which prohibits CalPERS and the State Teacher’s Retirement System from making new investments or renewing existing investments in fossil fuel companies on or before July 1, 2031, and communicate such endorsement to the state legislature.

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