, Newburyport, MA


June 30, 2014

In support of divesting from fossil fuels

To the editor:

As a retired participant in the state pension fund, I am writing to address a few of the issues brought up by Joe D’Amore in his July 18 column, “Divestment of state pension is misguided.” I reply below issue by issue.

Advocates are mostly college students: People advocating for Senator Downing’s bill, Senate 1225, a bill that would require divestment of the state pension fund, are primarily people who have either retired from that system or who are currently paying into it. Students are advocating for divestment of the investments of their colleges and universities.

Only fossil fuels can run a car: Solar- or wind-generated electricity can fuel Mr. D’Amore’s commute.

Divestment is a silly liberal idea: The primary purpose of divestment is to avoid the bursting of the carbon bubble that could have an extremely negative impact on a pension fund. Entities from the president of the World Bank and writers for Bloomberg News have warned about the carbon bubble — a decline in the value of fossil fuel stocks as the necessity of a rapid reduction in the use of fossil fuels becomes undeniable.

Fossil fuels are the best investment: Fossil fuels are not a good investment in the long run. Fossil fuel companies count among their assets deposits of coal, gas and more that can never be used if we are to avoid the worst of climate change. They will become what are called “stranded assets.”

Fossil-free funds can’t compete: Unity College, Sterling College and the Wallace Global Fund have divested from fossil fuels and their new portfolios are outperforming the market average. Personally, investment we have made in the fossil-fuel free Green Century Equity Fund is outperforming any of our other investments.

Divestment from fossil fuel stocks is a serious issue, and deserves thoughtful and accurate consideration.

Carolyn Britt


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