The issue: Fossil fuels

Asset managers are investing in the climate crisis

Coal, oil, and gas release carbon pollution that accelerates the climate emergency. Rising temperatures will continue to exacerbate the impacts of fires, floods, deadly heatwaves, and other environmental disasters.


Retirement plans are still heavily invested in coal, oil, and gas

As the financial industry looks to align their businesses with the Paris climate agreement, asset managers are beginning to exclude some of the most egregious climate offenders, like thermal coal producers, from the funds they offer in corporate retirement plans. However, 401(k)s and similar retirement plans are still mostly invested in index funds with broad exposure to fossil fuel companies – from Big Oil to small fracking companies.

Asset managers like Vanguard are investing in a deadly industry – and they’re using workers’ retirement plan savings to do so. Through funds from asset managers like Vanguard, BlackRock, and State Street, the retirement plans of companies like Amazon and Comcast are investing hundreds of billions of dollars into fossil fuel companies that are fueling the climate crisis.


Top carbon reserve owners

Oil majors and coal mining companies continue to explore for new fossil fuel deposits, despite knowing full well we can only burn a fraction of current proven reserves and still avoid catastrophic climate change.

As governments act to restrict emissions, these carbon reserves may become stranded assets, sinking companies and taking people’s savings down with them.

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The Solutions

Exclude climate-harming companies from retirement plan default options

The default option offered in company retirement plans, which usually ends up with the bulk of employee contributions, should be sustainably invested and exclude major climate offenders like the Carbon Underground 200 and the Global Coal Exit List.


Answers to common questions about how retirement plans and asset managers are financing the climate crisis.

We offer sustainable investment tools that highlight issues dealing with climate change, gender equality and more

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Invest Your Values is a project by As You Sow, a 501(c)3 nonprofit empowering shareholders to change corporations for good

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Disclaimer: As You Sow is not an investment adviser

As You Sow is not an investment adviser as that term is defined under federal and state (California) laws and regulations. As You Sow is a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization dedicated to educating and empowering shareholders to change corporations for the good through the collection, analysis and dissemination of relevant information to the public, free of charge. As You Sow does not provide financial planning, legal or tax advice. Nothing on this website shall constitute or be construed as an offering of financial instruments, or as investment advice or investment recommendations.
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