The New York State Teachers’ Retirement System (NYSTRS) plans to end its investments in 20 natural gas, oil and thermal coal reserve holdings with a market value of $1 billion as they “pose climate-related risks” to the investment portfolio.

The massive retirement fund in late December also said it wants to divest $66 million worth of other thermal coal holdings.

“NYSTRS fully understands its important responsibility as an institutional investor to actively pursue the path to a climate-conscious future,” said Chief Investment Officer Thomas K. Lee. “This initial climate action plan squarely puts the system on that path, while remaining consistent with NYSTRS’ fiduciary duties.”

The system was required by the end of 2021 to update the New York Legislature regarding plans...