Divestment Local News Coverage and Letters to the Editor

Marin IJ Letter to Editor from Jody Timms, 350Marin Steering Committee member

Marin pension plan needs to show leadership

Although I have not been a fan of the historically Reagan administration strategy of constructive engagement when it comes to fossil fuel companies, perhaps I need to give it a second chance.

This approach is generally used by shareholders to encourage companies to improve their social governance or environmental policies and it has had rather limited success in the past.

But on Wednesday, the state of Vermont used the clout of its pension investments to call out ExxonMobil, naming its business strategies "wholly inadequate" in response to the severity of the climate crisis. The state and a coalition of 47 global investors want this corporation to adopt quantitative goals for greenhouse gas emission reductions from its products and operations.

Though this action stops short of the goal of insisting fossil fuel companies leave at least 80 percent of its product in the ground and intensify their research and development into renewable energy sources, it demonstrates strong leadership that we need to see much more of in this country and throughout the world.

We at 350Marin encourage the Marin County Employee Retirement Association to not only make its engagement efforts public, but also step up and make their own bold statement about the need for fossil fuel companies to get going in a direction that will ensure financial returns and life on a habitable planet.

— Jody Timms, Fairfax

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