Somerville, MA, Aug. 12, 2014 – Despite a unanimous resolution from the Board of Aldermen calling for institutions to divest from fossil fuel companies, the Somerville Retirement Board won’t be moving forward on the issue just yet.
“The question of whether it is prudent to divest from fossil fuel companies can only be answered through diligent research, weighing the possible gains for the environment and those vested in the retirement system against the potential losses and risk for members and retirees,” the board said in a statement released on August 6.
The Board, made up of five people, two of whom are elected by city employees, manages the city employee pension money. The funds are invested in securities valued at almost $230 million, according to Michael Pasquariello, executive director of the board.
On June 26, the Board of Aldermen voted unanimously to urge “all governments, institutions and individuals” to “cease any new investments in the top 200 fossil fuel companies” and “to ensure, that within five years, none of their directly held or commingled assets include holdings in fossil fuel investments.”