Coal divestment bill passes California state legislature

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 02, 2015 3:02 PM

By Rory Carroll

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A bill requiring California's two largest retirement systems to sell their investments in coal companies passed the state Assembly on Wednesday, a significant step for legislation that backers hope will inspire other funds to address climate change.

The bill would require CalPers and CalSTRS, public employee pension funds that manage a combined $476 billion in assets, to liquidate holdings in companies that generate at least half of their revenue from coal mining by July 2017.

CalPers invests in about 20 to 30 thermal coal mining companies valued at approximately $100 million to $200 million, a spokesman said. Coal companies it invests in include Peabody Energy and Arch Coal, according to its latest investment report.

CalSTRS has holdings of around $40 million, a spokesman said. Both Calpers and CalSTRS did not take a formal position on the legislation.

(Reporting by Rory Carroll; Editing by Bernard Orr)