February 1, 2024
Climate Safe Pensions Wisconsin Launches Statewide Radio Ad Campaign
WISCONSIN – Climate Safe Pensions Wisconsin launched an exciting new radio ad campaign with Civic Media, focusing on the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB) and its ill-advised holdings in fossil fuel companies.
“This radio ad campaign calls out the need for SWIB to demonstrate its fiduciary responsibility to invest prudently for annuitants – and develop and implement a plan for divestment from fossil fuels,” said Pete Knotek, member of Climate Safe Pensions Wisconsin (CSPW).
The ads aim to reach public employees, teachers, workers, and retirees across the state, and inform the public on how SWIB is – or is not – taking climate risk seriously. The ad will air across the state — initially focusing stations in the Green Bay, Oshkosh, and Madison markets.
“Connect the dots. Would you dip into your retirement savings to make a loan to climate polluting oil, coal and gas companies? Well, you already have if you are a member of Wisconsin’s public employee retirement system. Go to ClimateSafePensionsWisconsin.org. Sign the petition. Common sense investments, not financing polluters. Future generations will thank you for visiting: ClimateSafePensionsWisconsin.org.”
Members of Climate Safe Pensions Wisconsin electronically submitted dozens of comments for SWIB’s December 2023 Board meeting (since public comments are not allowed during the meetings). They urged SWIB to include climate in their risk analysis. SWIB once again failed to discuss climate risk. This ad campaign urges the Board to prioritize the issue at its next board meeting in March 2024.
Recent research shows that SWIB would be $4.3 billion richer if it had divested from fossil fuels 10 years ago.
The University of Waterloo study, in partnership with Stand.earth, analyzed the public equity portfolios of eight major U.S. public pension funds, including the funds of the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB). It shows that numerous U.S. public pension funds would be $21 billion richer had they divested from fossil fuels a decade ago.
About Climate Safe Pensions Wisconsin (CSPWI): The organizers of Climate Safe Pensions for Wisconsin are members of the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) who are concerned about the financial and physical climate risks of continuing to invest our retirement savings in fossil fuels. We believe divestment from fossil fuels is in line with the State of Wisconsin Investment Board’s (SWIB) fiduciary responsibilities to invest prudently for its annuitants. CSPWI calls on SWIB to stop making any new investments in fossil fuels and to develop a plan to move the $6.4 billion it has invested in fossil fuels (4.7% of total portfolio) into safer investments. More information is at Climate Safe Pensions for Wisconsin.
Notes to the editor:
Pete Knotek, 262-498-9015; Pete@ClimateSafePensionsWisconsin.org;
Anne Steinberg, 414-702-3719; Anne@ClimateSafePensionsWisconsin.org
Learn more at ClimateSafePensionsWisconsin.org