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New York City comptroller candidate promises widespread sustainable investment



A candidate in New York City’s comptroller elections has pledged to make sure the city invests sustainably and takes into account environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors.

Scott Stringer, currently the borough president of Manhattan, says he wants to ensure New York “operates, invests, and spends in environmentally sustainable ways to save taxpayer money and improve government performance”.

In his platform documents, which have been seen by Asset International, he says he plans to do this by creating an office of sustainability management, which will oversee the responsible investment of the city’s $140 billion pension fund.

The role of comptroller, currently held by Democrat John Liu, involves managing New York City’s finances and auditing processes. Liu was elected in 2009, but chose not to run for a second term.

Stringer, who is up against former New York governor Eliot Spitzer in a race to become the Democrat candidate for the election, is already a trustee of the board of the New York City Employees Retirement System (NYCERS).

Leading thinkers in government, asset management, and sustainability have come to agree: failing to consider potential environmental costs can have devastating fiscal and physical costs”, his comptroller campaign documents say.

Ignoring the potential for environmental harms is no longer a viable approach. In order for our economy to thrive, we must make environmental impact one of the central yardsticks by which we judge our investments.”

He points towards Hurricane Sandy, which he says cost New York some $30 billion, as an example of an environmental disaster that the city can invest to prevent.

Further reading:

US investors hold firms to account over climate-related challenges

New York City could be renewables-driven by 2030

US states to require insurers to take part in climate risks survey

New York sets sights on $1 billion green bank

The Guide to Sustainable Investment 2013