Green Schemes

The Story

Following an op-ed he wrote with the mayor of London calling on all cities to divest from fossil fuels, Mayor de Blasio announced that New York City will invest 2% of its pension funds in “climate-change solutions.” This vague description could presumably include a broad range of potential investments. De Blasio may get political mileage out of announcing such initiatives, but fossil fuels will be central to life in New York City for a long time to come.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. SueMayor de Blasio’s suit against major oil companies for having caused Superstorm Sandy was thrown out. Read more.

  2. Boards: State public-pension boards often don’t act in the pension fund’s long-term fiscal interests. Read more.

  3. Pensioners: 80% of New York City’s personal income-tax revenue goes to paying down pension-fund liabilities, a five-fold increase over the last 15 years. Read more.

“If social investing produces losses, tomorrow’s taxpayers will have to ante up or future retirees will receive lower benefits."

Alicia H. Munnell, Director, Center for Retirement Research

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

Twenty Myths About Public-Sector Pension Plans By Richard Dreyfuss (October 22, 2013)

“State and municipal governments across the United States know that they are facing a looming financial crisis because of their pension obligations. Politically popular yet financially reckless decisions have left many of these governments with rapidly escalating pension costs.”

And in other news...

“New York City’s number of gridlock alert days will climb to 16 this year, up from 10 last year, and they will start Sept. 24 to coincide with the United Nations General Assembly session.”