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Humphreys testifies before Somerville Board of Alderman

Croatan Institute President Joshua Humphreys testified before a public hearing of the Somerville Board of Aldermen on March 13 in favor of a resolution that would divest the pension funds overseen by the Somerville Retirement Board from fossil fuel companies.

Humphreys spoke as an expert on the fossil fuel industry, citing the fiduciary duty of fossil-fuel divestment. He noted that while many at the hearing made compelling moral arguments for divestment, “the stronger imperative for divestment is rooted in prudent risk management and fiduciary responsibility.”

Humphreys noted, “these companies face substantial regulatory, political and social risk in addition to the risks associated with climate change.”

Due to a restriction cited by City Solicitor Frank Wright, Somerville’s Board of Aldermen could not speak or ask questions about the resolution, because their own pensions would eventually be managed by the Somerville Retirement Board.

Update: At a subsequent meeting on June 26, the Board of Aldermen passed a resolution expressing support for fossil fuel divestment among universities, foundations, and pension funds.

Dr. Humphreys’s full pre-prepared testimony is publicly available at

For more information on fossil-free investing, visit Institutional Pathways to Fossil-free Investing.