SUNY Faculty Urge Pension to Divest from Fossil Fuels



In late February, the State University of New York Cortland Faculty Senate, which represents instructors at the Southern Tier school, unanimously passed a resolution urging its pension fund manager, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association, to divest from fossil fuel companies. “Whereas, the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America-College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA) has $8 billion invested in industries promoting fossil fuel production, distribution and consumption,” reads the resolution, “…Therefore be it resolved, that the SUNY Cortland faculty urges the SUNY Board of Trustees to support and advocate for the divestment of TIAA funds from all fossil fuel holdings….”

In doing so, the SUNY Cortland Faculty Senate became the latest institution to join TIAA Divest, a campaign demanding that TIAA cease investing in fossil fuel projects, businesses involved in deforestation, and other enterprises accelerating climate change. TIAA has thus far refused to take action, but environmentalists hope that the growing pressure from clients like SUNY faculty will force its hand.

Author(s): Arvind Dilawar

Publication Date: 16 March 2021

Publication Site: The River

Trader Cargill, pension fund TIAA linked to land grabs in Brazil’s Cerrado




Global commodities giant Cargill continues to buy soybeans from a farm in Brazil that cultivates on illegally acquired and deforested land.

The Parceiro farm in Bahia state, owned by SLC Agrícola, has been implicated in a $200 million land-grabbing scheme being investigated by Brazilian authorities.

Also implicated in the case is the U.S. teachers’ pension fund TIAA, an investor in one of the parcels of illegally acquired land that effectively overlaps with SLC’s farm.

Cargill, which has a zero-deforestation commitment for its supply chain from the Cerrado, says it placed no restrictions on soybean purchases from SLC in 2020; it bought more than a quarter of the grower’s crop the previous year.

Author(s): Caio de Freitas Paes

Publication Date: 3 February 2021

Publication Site: Mongabay