TIAA is accelerating climate destruction! They have $10B invested in fossil fuel companies. They financed construction of two fracked gas power plants, one in Ohio and the other in New York. Fossil fuel investments undermine the trend towards energy efficiency, conservation, and renewable energy. Plus, they’re bad investments.
The climate emergency is a huge driver of inequality. Millions of climate refugees, mostly in the global South, are displaced every year as entire communities become unable to function due to desertification, sea level rise, famine and other aspects of climate change. In Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, increasing floods, drought, and storms have destroyed small farms and pushed people out.
Let’s dive into one of TIAA’s many financial products, their Large-Cap Growth Index Fund. A fabulous organization, Fossil Free Funds gives this fund a high green grade of “B” because this fund avoids coal and fossil fuel utilities. BUT this same fund invests nearly 10M in the top 200 owners of carbon reserves and nearly $20M in the oil and gas industry overall INCLUDING $2M in fracking giant Cabot Oil and Gas. Suffice it to say they’ve been big and bad in TX, OK, WV and PA. Cabot (as of December 31, 2019), has 12.903 trillion cubic feet equivalent of proved reserves, all of it in the Marcellus Shale.
The big $10B figure for TIAA fossil fuel investments overall is, of course, composed of smaller numbers such as these, embedded in TIAA’s so-called Low Carbon Equity Fund. Not only does this fund include 38 fossil fuel industry holdings, including fossil-fired utilities, but it includes an investment in Antero. Antero is the company that polluted Pavilion, Wyoming drinking water with benzene, beginning in 2008 — then they fought residents, fought EPA scientists, and fought court battles for 10 years trying desperately to deny that fracking contaminates drinking water. They lost, but at incredible cost. TIAA, would your executives like benzene in your drinking water? Didn’t think so. It’s time for TIAA to dump ALL fossil fuel investments.
TIAA is ramping up their greenwash campaign in response to TIAA-Divest’s successful campus resolution campaign. Here we’ve marked up an email that TIAA sent to all their State University of New York participants following passage of the 8th SUNY resolution demanding that TIAA divest from climate destruction.