Contributed by a volunteer in The Carbon Almanac Community
This Daily Difference is final installment of a series in which we follow the author, a U.S. federal employee, who is taking advantage of a new rule which allows members of the U.S. Federal Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) to invest 25% of their retirement portfolio into climate conscious mutual funds.
Well, I did it. I used the new mutual fund window to move a significant portion of my U.S. Federal Employee Thrift Savings Plan balance into a mutual fund that invests in companies that are actively working on solutions to the climate crisis. But I must admit that part of me worries. Fees are the downsides of the new ability for U.S. federal employees to invest in green funds. The funds are actively managed, which is costly. Did I make a rational financial move? Will this fund outperform the yearly fees? Up front transaction fees also held me back from investing in multiple climate-conscious funds.
These worries however, are second to my worry about our climate future. The idea of retirement almost seems fruitless to me if the future is intensifying, climate-driven fires, floods, heat waves, and human conflict. This is why I am closing this series of Daily Difference articles to call for us all to advocate for intentional, full-commitment, climate-conscious management of our respective nations’ retirement, pension and sovereign wealth funds.
I relished making choices to move a portion of my retirement account into really interesting companies that are building solar farms, turbines, and microchips for energy efficiency, but I am only one person- a drop in the bucket in a movement to divest from fossil fuels from the bottom up.
Through this process, I learned how the U.S. TSP governing board is constantly responding to U.S. Congressional legislation that dictates how the funds are to be invested. So let’s write Congress; and demand a green retirement fund from the top down! Readers outside the U.S., write the elected representative of your congress, parliament, chamber, duma, assembly, diet, or council; and demand top down climate conscious investment in your national pension or sovereign wealth fund.