New York City pension funds filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed in May that alleged the plans breached their fiduciary duties by selling billions of dollars of fossil fuel assets.
(Bloomberg) — New York City pension funds filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed in May that alleged the plans breached their fiduciary duties by selling billions of dollars of fossil fuel assets.
The lawsuit was filed by plaintiffs including Americans for Fair Treatment – a conservative nonprofit organization – and three public sector employees. Represented by Donald Trump’s former Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia, they sued New York City Employees’ Retirement System, Teachers’ Retirement System and Board of Education Retirement System saying a decision to divest roughly $4 billion in fossil fuel investments is “a misguided and ineffectual gesture to address climate change.”
The three retirement plans said there was no basis in the plaintiffs’ allegation that fossil fuel stocks performed well during the relevant time period, according to the dismissal motion. They also rebut the plaintiffs claims that investment decisions were made without financial analysis and that climate-change considerations are “unrelated” to risk-reward calculations, the motion said.
“Rather than advancing the actual interests of our City’s public employees and retirees, the lawsuit seeks to protect companies that continue to focus on fossil fuels despite the ongoing and necessary transition to a low carbon economy,” NYC Comptroller Brad Lander said in a statement.
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