Former State Treasurer Phil Angelides (D-CA)
- Location: CA 98514
- Marching Since: October 27, 2005
As a trustee of California’s two pension funds that invest more than $300 billion in the global economy and own shares in major public corporations across the world, I am deeply concerned about the harmful impact of climate change on the long-term health of our investments, our economy and our planet. Because companies that pollute the environment also pollute their own financial bottom line – leaving shareholders to eventually foot the bill – we have launched a new era of shareholder activism to demand that corporate America do everything possible to combat global warming.
The financial community has both a moral and fiscal responsibility to combat global warming and ensure the sustainability of our economy. Our shareholder environmental activism builds on our successes in the corporate reform movement. When corporate scandals ripped off billions of dollars from ordinary shareholders and taxpayers, we fought to move companies away from a destructive get-rich-quick mentality. We pushed for ethical corporate practices because good businesses behavior leads to long-term, sustained value. There is a parallel between the CEO who cooks the books to pump up the value of his company’s stock while simultaneously looting the firm for his own gain, and a corporation that temporarily boosts its returns by exploiting the environment. In the end, the CEO who loots his corporation leaves shareholders with a degraded company, and the corporation that exploits the environment leaves behind both a damaged environment and, ultimately, a degraded company.
At the Treasurer’s Office, we have put the power of money to work to clean up the environment. We have redirected over $20 billion in State investments to curb sprawl and to support sustainable development and smart growth. We sponsored the law to stop the State from buying wasteful SUVs and to require the State to green its fleet of 70,000 vehicles to be the most fuel-efficient in the world. And, through our Green Wave environmental investment initiative, our pension funds are investing $1.5 billion in renewable energy and clean environmental technologies and pushing companies to confront the risks of global warming. We have set a new standard for corporate environmental responsibility – major companies have heard us and are putting their own dollars to work on environmental technology and clean energy. The Green Wave of environmental responsibility is marching on.
And, now, I’m proud to join the Virtual March on Washington to Stop Global Warming.