CalPERS Investment Policy Change a Win for Indigenous Peoples

Amazon Watch

For more information, contact:

Moira Birss at +1.510.394.2041 or

OAKLAND, CA – The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) has quietly approved extensive changes to its Governance and Sustainability Principles, including a ground-breaking recognition of the right of indigenous peoples to free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC). CalPERS, the largest public pension in the U.S with $356 billion in assets under management, included the revisions as part of its new Total Fund Policy.

CalPERS has broad exposure to virtually every industry – including some of the most environmentally and socially destructive industries in the Amazon and around the world. Amazon Watch called on CalPERS to adopt an FPIC policy prior to its decision to do so.

Amazon Watch Communications and Public Affairs Manager, Moira Birss, made the following statement in response to the policy:

"CalPERS' new policy is a victory for indigenous rights, the Amazon, and the global climate. In an age of runaway climate change and threats to indigenous and other environment defenders, the need for strengthened ESG investment standards is greater than ever. This precedent-setting language can and should serve as a model for other investors.

We call on CalPERS to robustly implement these policy revisions, as they represent an important and necessary step to CalPERS fulfilling its fiduciary duty and ensuring respect for indigenous rights."

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