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Tom Steyer: How Climate Change Changed Me

Dry earth in the Sonoran Desert, Mexico.

Dry earth in the Sonoran Desert, Mexico.


Tom Steyer is founder and president of NextGen Climate, an organization that acts politically to avert climate disaster and preserve American prosperity. He recently responded to a New York Times article that detailed how he made his fortune as   a hedge fund manager with portfolios in the fossil fuel industry. The article claimed his recent conversion to climate activist was hypocritical.

When I learned that the New York Times was planning to report on my time as an investor at Farallon Capital Management, I wanted to sit down with the reporter while I was in New York City to discuss the issue in person—and on the record. After all, it was important to me that they have the facts about investments made under my leadership, my subsequent decision to step down from the fund and why I have sought to engage politically on the issue of climate change. The timing didn’t work out for the reporter, and the New York Times subsequently declined my request to run this op-ed in my own words.

The article that ran, which detailed fossil-fuel investments that my former firm made when I was leading it, suggested that those investments were inconsistent with my current advocacy for more progressive energy policies. As I offered to say then, I will say now: I left the firm and committed myself to addressing global climate change because—based on the scientific evidence—I could not reconcile my personal values with managing a fund that by mandate is invested in all sectors of the global economy, including fossil fuels. Read full article: Tom Steyer: How Climate Change Changed Me



NextGen Climate

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