New York skyline

New York City teachers, firefighters, and sanitation workers are investing in a healthier climate – through their pensions.

In September, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that two percent of the city’s pension fund – that’s about four billion dollars – will be invested in companies working on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and other climate solutions.

The move follows a plan announced back in January to divest the city’s pension funds from fossil fuels. Dan Zarrilli, the mayor’s chief climate policy advisor, says both efforts reflect the city’s commitment to fighting climate change.

Plus, he says it makes financial sense to invest in growing industries such as solar and wind.

'It's good social policy, very aligned with good financial policy, that helps protect our pensions.' Click To Tweet

Zarrilli: “It’s good social policy, very aligned with good financial policy, that helps protect our pensions.”

Zarrilli says when a city as big as New York makes this kind of commitment …

Zarrilli: “We’re showing to the world that it can get done. We can work with our pensions to make smart investments, and we can call on others to do the same. We can ultimately scale that impact over hundreds and thousands of cities across the globe, and that sort of scaled impact, I think, is exactly what’s necessary in order to head off the worst and most catastrophic impacts of climate change.”

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.

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