Below are two letters. The first is intended for TIAA participants (That’s folks who have retirement accounts with TIAA). The second is for everyone else. Feel free to customize these letters, and please ask your friends to write too!

Attn: Roger Ferguson
TIAA
730 3rd Avenue
New York, NY 10017
                                                      [date]
 
Dear Roger Ferguson,
 
I am a TIAA participant and a [professional position]. I’ve always been proud that my 
retirement is being handled by TIAA, which is famous for being a socially responsible 
investor.
 
I have been very unhappy to learn that my retirement savings are actually being invested 
in climate destruction. I understand that TIAA still has $10 billion invested in fossil 
fuels, which are an increasingly poor investment as well as catastrophic for our collective
future. TIAA not only continues to have substantial fossil fuel exposure but even its Social 
Choice Equity Fund has millions invested with companies intent on drilling for new oil and 
gas, including Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and Kinder Morgan, even while scientists have been 
clear that we cannot afford to burn the fuels from the wells we have now. New drilling is 
exactly the worst path to take.
 
I was surprised and dismayed to discover that TIAA has also funded two fracked gas plants, 
one in New York and one in Ohio. Scientists have now shown clearly that fracked gas is 
nearly 100 times more powerful a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. These need to be shut 
down immediately.
 
I have learned, too, TIAA has financed land grabs that have driven indigenous people off 
their lands and contributed to deforestation at a moment when we urgently need more forests 
to capture the carbon that fossil fuels are throwing into the atmosphere.
 
How can TIAA call itself a responsible investor while thousands of other institutions, 
including the Episcopal Church, Cambridge University, the University of California System, 
the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund, the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation, and the Republic 
of Ireland, have all committed to divestment from fossil fuels?
 
How can TIAA stay committed to oil and gas when these industries are doing so badly 
in the market? This sector finished dead last in the Standard & Poor’s 500 in 2018, and 
Moody’s downgraded the credit rating of Exxon Mobil from “stable” to “negative.” As entire 
regions move aggressively away from fossil fuels, oil and gas investments seem incredibly 
risky just on financial grounds, not to mention the massive scale of suffering they 
are bringing.
 
In short, I do not want my retirement invested in climate destruction at a moment when 
it is absolutely urgent that we invest in renewable and safe alternatives to fossil fuels.
 
With thanks in advance for your time and attention to this matter.
 
Sincerely,
 
[Name]
[date of birth]
[phone number]
[email address]

Here’s the Letter for non-participants:

Attn: Roger Ferguson
TIAA
730 3rd Avenue
New York, NY 10017
                                                      [date]
 
Dear Roger Ferguson,
 
I’ve always heard that TIAA is famous for being a socially responsible Investor, 
and many of my friends are directly invested in TIAA. But I’ve learned that actually 
TIAA’s investments are a major driver of climate destruction, so I’m urging my 
friends to invest elsewhere. I’m writing to ask you to direct TIAA to quickly divest 
from fossil fuel industries and from deforestation risk investments.
 
September 2020 was our warmest September on record, with an average global temperature 
increase of 1.8 degrees. CO2 levels have climbed to 410 parts per million. Both California 
and Colorado are having their worst fire season ever. Floods have displaced 1.5 million 
people in East Africa. The Atlantic storm season is extreme. Arctic sea ice is at its 
second lowest level in history. Climate impacts are increasing exponentially, and every 
fraction of a degree matters.
 
Fossil fuels are increasingly poor investments, as fossil fuel investments are rapidly 
becoming stranded assets. In the race to divest, the last one out loses. Does TIAA, 
in its slowness to respond to the climate emergency, want to hold onto toxic stranded assets?
 
My colleagues who are invested in TIAA can’t find a Fossil Free Fund. TIAA offers a dirty 
“Low Carbon Equity” fund which includes 38 fossil fuel industry holdings. That includes 
Antero, the fracking company that polluted Pavilion, Wyoming drinking water with benzene 
and then fought court battles against EPA scientists for 10 years in a failed attempt to 
deny that fracking contaminates drinking water. It seems TIAA does not care about health 
or truth, let alone climate.
 
As a climate-smart citizen, I was shocked to learn that TIAA has directly funded two fracked 
gas plants, Cricket Valley Energy in New York and Carrolton in Ohio. Methane is at least 86 
times more potent in global warming impact than CO2 on the 20-year time frame. And real data 
shows that fracked gas is even worse than coal, on the 20 year time period, in its life cycle 
climate impacts.
 
TIAA has financed major land grabs, including in Brazil,that drive indigenous people off their 
lands and contribute to deforestation.
I’m concerned about justice. TIAA’s investments in fossil fuels, and in deforestation, contribute 
to what many are calling “climate genocide.” Black and brown, Indigenous, and people of color 
are most vulnerable to the increasingly violent impacts of climate change.
 
In conclusion, climate is a racial justice issue, and deforestation is a human rights issue; 
both should be central to TIAA’s decisionmaking.
 
In financial terms, it defies reason that TIAA would stay in its bad marriage with oil and gas 
when this sector finished dead last in the Standard & Poor’s 500 in 2018. Moody’s downgraded 
Exxon Mobil’s credit rating from “stable” to “negative.” TIAA, please invest in energy 
efficiency technologies, and in clean, renewable solar, wind and micro-hydro, rather than 
remaining invested in climate death.
 
I ask TIAA to become a good citizen by immediately placing a moratorium on all new direct fossil 
fuel investments, by implementing a no-deforestation-risk investment policy, by selling and 
pressing for closure of CVE and Carrolton fracked gas power plants, and by committing to full 
divestment from all fossil fuel industry holdings.
 
I appreciate your time and attention to this matter.
 
Sincerely,
 
[Name]
[date of birth]
[phone number]
[email address]