New York pension fund launches $2 billion low-carbon index

A truck engine is tested for pollution exiting its exhaust pipe as California Air Resources field representatives (unseen) work a checkpoint set up to inspect heavy-duty trucks traveling near the Mexican-U.S. border in Otay Mesa, California September 10, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake

(Reuters) - New York State’s pension fund launched a $2 billion low-carbon index which will exclude or reduce investment in high-emitting industries such as coal mining, the State Comptroller said on Friday.

Launching the scheme from the global climate summit in Paris Thomas P. DiNapoli said: “Low-carbon, sustainable investments are key to our future ...and this expansion of our commitment offers a sensible solution that will protect the Fund’s (New York Common Retirement Fund) investments.”

The low-emissions index was created in partnership with Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

As well as the low emission index, DiNapoli is committing an additional $1.5 billion to the Funds Sustainable Investment Program, taking its total commitment to sustainable investments to more than $5 billion.

New York has the third-largest pension fund in the United States, with net assets of $184.5 billion held in trust as of end-March 2015, according to the Office of the State Comptroller’s website.

Reporting by Susanna Twidale; editing by Jason Neely