Di­vest­ment is a los­ing propo­si­tion

Baltimore Sun - - MARYLAND VOICES - Nor­ris McDon­ald, Wash­ing­ton, D.C. The writer is pres­i­dent of the African Amer­i­can En­vi­ron­men­tal­ist As­so­ci­a­tion.

As an ac­tive en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist, I ap­plaud the steps that groups are tak­ing to en­sure our grand­chil­dren’s fu­ture on this planet. How­ever, The Sun’s re­cent ar­ti­cle, “Mary­land pen­sion sys­tem be­gins weigh­ing port­fo­lio’s car­bon foot­print” (Oc­to­ber 19), has me con­cerned about the politi­ciza­tion of mat­ters that should not be in­flu­enced by opin­ions, even if I do agree with the ul­ti­mate goal.

Pen­sion funds have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to their ben­e­fi­cia­ries to main­tain a strong re­turn on in­vest­ment in or­der to pro­vide a de­cent liveli­hood for the many em­ploy­ees they rep­re­sent. By tak­ing action to di­vest, the Mary­land’s pen­sion sys­tem is sub­ject­ing the fund to a mul­ti­tude of neg­a­tive fi­nan­cial con­se­quences that result from di­vest­ment.

In re­al­ity, di­vest­ment is a feel-good strat­egy that does noth­ing to di­rectly help the en­vi­ron­ment and would un­der­mine the abil­ity of com­pa­nies to cre­ate a sus­tain­able fu­ture. A 2016 Pro­gres­sive Pol­icy In­sti­tute study even shows that en­ergy production com­pa­nies ac­tu­ally rein­vest over $33.8 bil­lion back into the econ­omy — the sec­ond most of any sec­tor in to­day’s econ­omy.

All in all, mem­bers of Mary­land’s Gen­eral As­sem­bly should con­sider the facts, not po­lit­i­cal opin­ions, be­fore mov­ing to di­vest.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.