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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

New York's $226 billion pension fund has set a 2040 goal to neutralize its carbon emissions and may divest from oil and gas companies in order to achieve it, the state's comptroller announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: The proposal, from America's third-largest public pension fund, is one of the more significant moves in the divestment battle that's been building over the last several years.

Yes, but: The fund has left a lot of wiggle room and time will tell just how many oil and gas companies it actually divests from.

How it works: The fund isn't committing to divesting all its oil and gas stocks, which activists have pushed for.

  • Instead, it's increasing pressure on companies to disclose — or create — plans for how they will profit in a climate-constrained world by threatening to otherwise sell by 2025.
  • The fund is "committing to sell its investments in any oil, gas, oil-services and pipeline companies that do not have clear plans to abandon the fossil fuel business. Few companies have disclosed such plans," the New York Times writes.

Flashback: New York comptroller on Exxon, divestment and climate change

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 28, 2021 - Energy & Environment

GM plans to end sales of gasoline powered cars by 2035

GM CEO Mary Barra at the GM Orion Assembly Plant plant for electric and self-driving vehicles in Michigan. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

General Motors is setting a worldwide target to end sales of gasoline and diesel powered cars, pickups and SUVs by 2035, the automaker said Thursday.

Why it matters: GM's plan marks one of the auto industry's most aggressive steps to transform their portfolio to electric models that currently represent a tiny fraction of overall sales.

CNN fires Chris Cuomo

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN

CNN said Saturday evening it has fired one of its star anchors, Chris Cuomo, following new revelations from a legal review made by the company into Cuomo's involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Why it matters: Saturday's firing speaks to how much pressure CNN was under by employees and critics to address Cuomo's behavior.

Updated 2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Electric car prices could go up before they come down

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The secret to affordable electric vehicles is cheaper batteries. But after years of falling prices, battery costs are now headed in the wrong direction.

Why it matters: Costlier batteries could drive up the price of electric vehicles — threatening the auto industry's transition away from fossil fuels, and, in turn, society's fight against climate change.