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Board urges employee retirement system to divest from fossil fuels

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Pressure is mounting against the Retirement Board in San Francisco to sell off about $470 million in fossil fuel investments from The City’s pension fund.

The Board of Supervisors unanimously voted on Tuesday in favor of a resolution urging retirement officials to divest from companies including Shell, Chevron Corp. and Exxon Mobil.

This is the second time since 2013 that the Board of Supervisors has argued for the San Francisco Employee Retirement System to divest from fossil fuels because of the environmental impacts of industries like coal.

Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who authored the legislation, called on the Retirement Board to divest from fossil fuels at its meeting on Oct. 11 or possibly face a ballot measure from the supervisors in June 2018.

“We are all aware that the retirement board has a fiduciary duty to the pension fund,” Peskin said, adding that “The City’s fossil fuel investments have underperformed.”

Peskin said he hopes that “we can be done with this now and not have to go to a ballot fight that could be avoided.”

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