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NYS Comptroller


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April 22, 2016, Contact: Press Office (518) 474-4015

Comptroller DiNapoli Statement on Earth Day 2016

On Earth Day 2016, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli urged individuals, government and businesses to seek out creative solutions and opportunities, whether big or small, that can help mitigate climate change and help save the planet.

“Today is an historic day, as leaders from around the world celebrate Earth Day by signing the Paris Agreement to limit global warming. We’ve come so far since the first Earth Day 46 years ago. Environmental concerns are at the forefront of our daily lives, but the challenges we face in safeguarding the planet have never been clearer. As we strive to mitigate global warming through personal choices and our public policies, we should remember to think creatively. Reducing our impact on the environment presents as many opportunities as it does challenges. As we develop cleaner technologies and sources of energy we will help create sustainable economies and a more sustainable planet.”

As trustee of the New York Common Retirement Fund, DiNapoli has continually sought improvements in environmental practices and carbon emissions from the companies in which the Fund invests. Currently, he is asking ExxonMobil to explain how it can adjust its business model to meet the worldwide effort to limit global warming. He has called on the Securities and Exchange Commission to request fossil fuel companies explain the steps they are taking to address climate change. As an investor, he has increased the Fund’s stake in sustainable investments to $5 billion, in order to take advantage of the growing low carbon economy. The centerpiece of this effort is an expandable $2 billion low emissions index for public equity investments. 

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 effectiveness of energy efficiency programs, 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 — the Oil Spill Fund — to ensure that the state has the financial resources to move quickly to clean up spills and compensate people who are damaged by them.

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