350JUNEAU’s campaign to divest the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation (APFC) from fossil fuels is part of a worldwide divestment campaign
that holds the fossil fuel industry responsible for its culpability
in the climate crisis.

Our parent organization 350.org has just released a great report on the global divestment movement entitled, “1000 Divestment Commitments and Counting“. This must read divestment report shows:

  1. The drastic rate of growth in the number of institutions and total funds divested from fossil fuels companies
  2. The global breakdown of divestments including numerous commitments on every continent
  3. The sector breakdown of divestment actions, which demonstrates the moral leadership of the faith sector on the issue of divestment

By shifting public support and our money away from the fossil fuel industry, we can break the hold that they have on our economy and our governments while making way for a just transition to renewable energy. From Melbourne to Paris to New York these campaigns have been successful in many cities, universities, foundations and recently the nation of Ireland.

Our campaigns aren’t just about winning a “yes” on divestment. They tell the story of people power against the fossil fuel industry.  By dismantling the fossil fuel industry’s social license, we can break the hold it has over our economy and government in Alaska and make way for community-led solutions to the crisis, achieving strong climate legislation, and shifting the paradigm of fossil fuel dependency.

350JUNEAU is working with other Alaskan climate activists and groups to pressure the APFC to end its investment in fossil fuels. We urge divestment:

  1. because fossil fuel investments have been performing poorly and are likely to be unproductive investments in the future and
  2. to curtail the extreme influence that the fossil fuel industry has over Alaska politics.

We believe that the APFC has been losing money by its mistaken loyalty to fossil fuel investments.  We have requested that Alaska’s Permanent Fund provide accurate and understandable fossil fuel investment performance information and that they do a climate risk assessment on all investments. (link to our Dec. 2018 letter to APFC)

As a result of the collaborative effort of Alaskan climate activists, APFC held an educational session for its board on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risk factors. Investment experts from Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Black Rock laid out how climate risk assessment has become an integral part of the analysis of financial evaluation. The Trustees were informed about ESG investing (focusing almost exclusively on fossil fuel investment) and learned that about 84% of institutional investment funds use some form of ESG screening and had equal or better than average performance, The board was reticent to include climate risk assessment in guiding its investment policy and has not responded to our November 2018 testimony and letter asking 1) if the fund has conducted a portfolio climate risk assessment to review the impact of climate change on investment returns and 2) to describe their risk assessment methodology. We will continue to push the APFC on divestment, climate risk assessment, and other issues. 350JUNEAU has provided extensive testimony at three APFC trustee meetings (link to 3 recent testimonies).

A May 2018 letter from Angela Rodell, APFC CEO, and Trustee Chair William Moran provided fossil fuel investment information that showed a declining trend for a percentage of overall Fund investments in fossil fuels 2011-2017, although the data does not match earlier data provided in November 2017. They also indicated that they would not change their investment approach to “abruptly divesting from such companies today”.

In the past decade, APFC’s fossil fuel investments have greatly underperformed other market sectors. Looking forward, fossil fuel investments will lose even more of their luster as world makes the shift to post carbon-based economies.  Much of the current value of fossil fuel companies lies in proven reserves.  About 80% of known fossil fuel reserves will need to stay in the ground if we are to avoid the worst effects of global warming.

Thanks to DivestInvest for this great video!