Pension Funds Considering Fossil Fuel Divestment, Socially Responsible Investments Get Boost From Labor Department
ibtimes.com| Published October 27 2015
By Cole Stangler
The U.S. Department of Labor has withdrawn an arcane George W. Bush-era measure that critics say discouraged pension trustees from making socially responsible investment decisions — like divesting from energy companies that contribute to climate change. The move could intensify environmental groups’ efforts to try to starve fossil-fuel corporations of billions of dollars worth of capital from institutional investors.
Last week, Labor Department officials unveiled a new interpretive guidance that Labor Secretary Thomas Perez said would ensure that “investing in the best interest of a retirement plan and in the growth of a community can go hand in hand.” The update could give legal “wiggle room” to pension trustees inclined to make socially guided investments but who may have feared running afoul of fiduciary standards designed to maximize low-risk returns, says David Webber, a law professor at Boston University… read more>