(PHILADELPHIA) – Today, Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson‘s (At Large) resolution calling on the Board of Pensions and Retirement to create Environmental Social Governance (ESG) criteria as part of its investment strategy and to disclose climate risk from all relevant parties passed City Council.
“We are obligated to consider the biggest risks posed to our financial system, and climate change remains a primary threat,” said Councilmember Gilmore Richardson. “Even under the best-case scenarios for emissions reductions, which we are not even close to meeting, we will continue to see disruptions to every part of our global economy. We have to understand those risks and actively develop strategies to drive investment into the sectors that will help us build a resilient economy and clean energy system.”
Industry leaders have started looking at climate risk and sustainable investing, and the Biden Administration has also demonstrated its commitment to climate finance with the selection of senior administration officials who will prioritize climate risk in their rulemaking. 2020 was a record year for ESG investing, with sustainable funds seeing record inflows and high performance. ESG funds outperformed traditional equity funds in 2020, and experts expect continued growth.
“I am grateful to the Pension Board for their hard work, especially Carol Stukes-Baylor of AFSCME District Council 47, Veronica Pankey of AFSCME District Council 33, Ronald Stagliano of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, and Brian Coughlin of the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 22, as well as the Pension Board staff and City Council’s Chief Financial Officer, Robert McDermott, and I am excited to continue working to ensure that Philadelphia is not only prepared for the impacts of climate change, but that we also lead the way on investing in new technologies and advocating for the necessary market shifts to protect our financial system.”