Maine has become the first US state to adopt legislation which will divest public assets from fossil fuels.
The “groundbreaking” law places the 200 largest listed oil and gas companies, and the 30 largest listed coal-fired power plant operators on a state investment blacklist, in addition to all companies deriving more than 50% of revenue from fossil fuel related businesses.
It further directs the Treasurer, who oversees state assets, and administrators of the $17bn Maine Public Employee Retirement System (MPERS) to carry out a stocktake of all current investments within the fossil fuel industry.
MPERS and other state funds will have until January 2026 to complete the divestment exercise. It is estimated that the former will need to divest a total of $1.3bn of its existing exposure to fossil fuels, including $850m invested through private equity vehicles.
“If Maine can divest responsibly and thoughtfully, there are no more