Climate Activism Interferes with Responsible Public Pension Fund Management

Last month, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), which manages the pension funds on which California’s educators rely, voted to divestthe stocks of U.S. thermal coal companies. Many have praised the nation’ssecond largest public pension system for taking this bold action, including California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León, who specifically blamed the coal companies for causing global climate change.

But is a public pension fund that many California residents now and in the future depend on for retirement income really the right stage for a political climate battle?