January marked the official release of a new report by Corporate Knights that finds that Colorado’s pension fund, Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA), is valued at $2.7 billion less than it would have been had it divested from fossil fuels a decade ago. This represents an opportunity cost of over $4,100 per PERA member. This new study also predicts that, if PERA continues to invest in fossil fuels for the next decade, they could lose an additional $6.4 billion. A  similar study conducted in 2019 found that PERA had lost $1.7 billion by not divesting from fossil fuels – this new study demonstrates that losses have jumped by a whole $1 billion  in the last three years.

This report underlines what we’ve been saying all along: not only are fossil fuels bad for our planet, they are also bad for investors. 

Click here to read the full report.

Additionally, on Wednesday, 1/25 SB23-016 passed out of committee, which, among many things, would require PERA to publish a climate risk assessment for their investments and align their shareholder votes with a fossil-free future. Your support of this bill will be essential in advocating for stronger climate action as well as supporting PERA’s implementation of a climate risk analysis. Click here for a bill factsheet and to learn more about this important legislation.

“PERA must acknowledge and publish the climate risks of their fossil fuel investments, not only as a fiduciary responsibility, but also as a moral responsibility to PERA members,” says Giselle Herzfeld of 350 Colorado. “An increasing number of financial institutions are waking up to the fact that climate change is a direct threat to the resilience and sustainability of our economy, and are making a defensive financial decision to assess the risks of their fossil fuel investments before it is too late and they unnecessarily expose their portfolios to financial risk. PERA has the responsibility to its members to do the same.”

Want to take action? Here’s  how to get involved: 
  • Share the Corporate Knights Report using this promotional toolkit 
  • Sign and share the Fossil Free PERA Petition, demanding that PERA acknowledge the climate risks of their fossil fuel investments and divest from fossil fuels.
  • PERA has 4 board seats currently up for election. If you are eligible and interested in applying, the PERA board needs climate champions who will amplify the call for fossil fuel divestment! Applications are being accepted through March 1st. Learn more here. 
  • Join the Fossil Free PERA committee to receive PERA-specific action alerts and updates!