Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal program now governs the future of the city’s pension funds, Mayor Bill de Blasio and city comptroller Scott Stringer said Thursday.
Self-proclaimed socialist AOC was in attendance at town hall on Thursday as town politicians, each with less than three months in office, pushed $ 8 billion in investment in her Green New Deal agenda – detailing their pledge of Big Apple’s pension investments for climate friendly businesses.
The $ 8 billion through 2025 represents a down payment on a previously announced commitment by de Blasio for $ 50 billion in pension funds invested in environmentally conscious companies.
“I want to give credit where credit is due. It took an incredible vision and sense of what’s possible and how to push the spectrum and reset our imaginations and we got it from a great leader, ”de Blasio said during his press briefing. daily, before presenting AOC, who joined Hizzoner on the dais amid negotiations over President Biden’s spending bill.
“Thank you so much for changing people’s minds and resetting all the sense of the possible with the Green New Deal. It’s extraordinary, ”said the far-left Democrat of Bronx-Queens.
“What you have done has changed the debate in this country permanently and it is one of the highest calls I can imagine, to help people see a new reality,” Ocasio exclaimed- Cortez.
The mayor and the comptroller detailed on Thursday morning a plan for three municipal pension funds to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions in their investment portfolios by 2040.
The plan includes a target to double investments in renewable energy and “green real estate” to more than $ 8 billion by 2025 and to invest more than $ 37 billion in “investments in climate solutions” by 2035, according to the mayor’s office.
“Now New York City becomes the first in the country to commit to zero net emissions in our pension fund investments. It’s revolutionary, “said the mayor.” It’s a very big deal. “
“As we fought over the years to make divestments and green investments, there was a drastic shift with the Green New Deal and when it did manifest, it opened the door for speech, for discussion. “said Stringer, thanking the” nationwide leadership “of AOC, which represents parts of Queens and the Bronx.
“I just wanted to thank you on behalf of everyone in town,” he added. “I don’t think we would be here today if you didn’t walk into the capital and say, ‘We’re going to change this.'”
“Today’s announcement, I think, really shows that a lot of the action – and, I would say – most of the climate action in this country is not happening in Washington; it’s happening in New York City and it’s happening at state and local levels across the country, ”Ocasio-Cortez said. “What today’s announcement really indicates is a higher level in our ability to tackle the climate crisis, and it’s essentially a total divestment from our public pension funds.”
While city officials have given the left-wing congressman generous credit with climate-friendly investments, she did not appear to be familiar with some of the details of the pension fund’s maneuver.
“In New York alone, that divestment can amount to over $ 50 billion, right? she said timidly.
De Blasio clarified: “$ 50 billion investment in renewable energies.
Ocasio-Cortez continued, “And having this change, moving away from fossil fuels and then investing in renewables and climate infrastructure is exactly what we need to do right now in order to tackle the climate crisis.”
The announcement comes after Stringer and de Blasio celebrated in January their decision to divest $ 4 billion in investments over five years, which is about 2% of their $ 250 billion in assets. This followed the joint announcement of the mayor and the comptroller in 2018 of a target to double the investments of the city’s pension funds in climate solutions from 1% to 2%, or about $ 4 billion by three years.
The town hall defines fossil fuel companies as oil, gas, coal or tar sands in the ground, according to John Adler, director of the mayor’s office of pensions and investments.
Additional reports from Morgan Grenz