An American bank just became the first in continent to pull its investments from fossil fuels
September 21, 2016
Founded in 1923 by the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, Amalgamated Bank is the largest union-owned bank and one of the only unionized banks in the United States. The decision to divest its $4 billion USD commercial assets from fossil fuel holdings is supported by new legal research presented on Wednesday by global investment consultant Mercer and the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL). Their research bolsters the recent decision by leading Canadian foundations to drop high-risk fossil fuel holdings and decarbonise their investment portfolios.
Mercer’s analysis of fiduciary duty suggests that pension and endowment fund trustees should now be factoring in climate change and energy transition risks into their decision-making process.
Canadian institutions ignoring climate change risk could face legal action
According to new legal analysis, investment fiduciaries who overlook the implications of the transition to clean energy and the wind-down of fossil fuels now underway could face legal challenges. With the world expecting Canada to ratify the Paris Agreement any day, Canadian institutions and philanthropic investors are only just coming to grips with the investment risks and opportunities linked to the low carbon energy transition.