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NYS Comptroller


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April 22, 2015, Contact: Press Office (518) 474-4015

Comptroller DiNapoli Statement on Earth Day 2015

On Earth Day 2015, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli urged businesses and government to seek creative solutions to climate change that create economic opportunities.

“Earth Day commemoration provides an important opportunity to focus attention on the health of our planet,” DiNapoli said. “We are facing unprecedented challenges from climate change across the globe. On Earth Day, it’s important we recognize that those challenges present opportunities, not just for improving the environment, but for strengthening the economy. Environmental protections go hand in hand with smart, sustainable business. Finding solutions to climate change opens doors to cleaner, alternative energy sources, new infrastructure and other economic prospects. From a household budget to a quarterly spreadsheet we must find creative ways to lighten our environmental impact that help raise the bottom line.”

As trustee of the $176.8 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund, DiNapoli has taken a leading investor role in seeking better corporate environmental practices. He has consistently engaged major corporations in the Fund’s portfolio to change corporate practices to promote a more environmentally sound, low carbon economy and to end practices that threaten public health, damage the environment and lead to climate change. In recent months, DiNapoli persuaded agricultural giant Archer Daniels Midland to commit to a “No-Deforestation” policy among its suppliers of palm and soy products. Last week, he called on the Securities and Exchange Commission to require fossil fuel companies explain what steps they are taking to address the challenges climate change presents.

In the coming weeks, DiNapoli will be calling on several energy companies at their annual meetings to report how they are responding to climate change and the risks it presents. The Fund is currently participating in a study, conducted by Mercer with other global institutional investors, of the impacts that various climate change scenarios could have on investments. The study will help the Fund manage its asset allocation to meet risks.

As New York State Comptroller, DiNapoli has worked to make New York state government a model of sustainability through audits and in depth reports on key environmental programs such as the state Brownfields Program, the Environmental Protection Fund, Open Space Conservation, Green Purchasing Programs, Farmland Protection and Funding for Environmental programs. Through audits of local governments and school districts the Comptroller has promoted energy efficiency, use of safe non-toxic cleaning products in schools and cost effective use of renewable energy. The Comptroller has worked to protect the resources of the New York State Environmental Protection and Spill Compensation Fund to ensure that the state has an adequate source of funding to cleanup spills and compensate people who are damaged by spills.




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