Sent to the CalPERS Board, with regard to the 3/18/19 meeting discussion of: Sustainable investment & CalPERS Divestment Overview. If you want to send your own, the address is [email protected]
 
Dear CalPERS Board,
 
I am a CalPERS member, based on my service in the Governors Office and as Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Palo Alto.
 
I question the Wilshire conclusion that fossil fuel divestment would be economically disadvantageous to portfolio performance. Many other analyses have reached different conclusions, including:
– https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800917310303
– https://impactalpha.com/how-divestment-from-fossil-fuels-can-benefit-your-investment-portfolio-9421f3e44c13/
– http://ieefa.org/research-finds-fossil-fuel-divestment-not-a-drag-on-investment-returns/
– https://www.ussif.org/climatereinvestment
 
to name a few.
 
I’m concerned that maintaining a significant investment in fossil fuels exposes our retirement asses to unwarranted risk—notably the rising monetization of the cost of carbon emissions, the growing impact of “climate chaos,” and the concomitant risk of stranded fossil fuel assets (whether for economic, regulatory or political reasons, or all three).
 
I urge you to broaden your consideration of fossil fuel divestment to substantively address the concerns. I suggest that it is your fiduciary duty to do so.
 
Thank you,
Gil Friend

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