How Sec. E.134.1 Can Influence the Housing Market: Reviewing Public Pension Funds’ Carbon Footprint

mpact of Sec. E.134.1 on the Housing Market: Reviewing Public Pension Funds’ Carbon Footprint

In the realm of Vermont’s housing market, Section E.134.1’s requirement for a carbon footprint review of public pension funds holds both direct and indirect implications. Let’s delve into how this provision can influence the housing market, considering both the positive and negative aspects.

Examining the Carbon Footprint Review:

Scope of Review: This section mandates a review of the carbon footprint of the Vermont State Employees’ Retirement System, Vermont State Teachers’ Retirement System, and Vermont Municipal Employees’ Retirement System. The focus is on assessing investments in fossil fuel companies or affiliated entities.

Positive Impact on the Housing Market:

Environmental Appeal: The potential for divestment from fossil fuel holdings aligns with environmentally conscious practices. This could enhance the reputation of Vermont’s housing market among environmentally aware homebuyers and investors.

Long-Term Sustainability: Divestment from fossil fuels could lead to more sustainable investment practices. The housing market’s association with environmentally responsible investments might attract buyers seeking long-term sustainable living options.

Negative Impact on the Housing Market:

Investment Consequences: Divestment decisions could impact the financial performance of pension funds, potentially affecting their ability to offer competitive returns to retirees. This could indirectly influence the broader economic environment, including the housing market.

Market Volatility: Sudden shifts in investment strategies could lead to market volatility, which might impact investor sentiment and consumer confidence in the housing market.

Community Perception: While divestment aligns with environmental goals, it might also bring concerns about potential economic consequences. Some homebuyers might be cautious about investing in areas perceived as undergoing financial changes due to investment shifts.

Potential for Legislative Action:

Positive Housing Market Impact:

Environmental-Friendly Reputation: Legislative actions aligned with divestment from fossil fuels can enhance Vermont’s reputation as a sustainable and eco-friendly place to live. This reputation could attract environmentally conscious homebuyers and potentially boost property values in those communities.

Negative Housing Market Impact:

Investor Uncertainty: Legislative actions involving pension fund divestment might create uncertainty among investors, potentially leading them to be more cautious about investing in Vermont’s housing market.

Economic Landscape: If legislative actions impact pension fund returns, it could have a ripple effect on the broader economy, potentially influencing factors that affect the housing market, such as interest rates and consumer spending.


Section E.134.1’s carbon footprint review of public pension funds directly affects the housing market through its potential to influence Vermont’s reputation, investor sentiment, and economic stability. While divestment aligns with environmental objectives and can enhance the market’s appeal, the potential economic consequences must also be considered. Striking a balance between environmental responsibility and economic stability will be crucial for ensuring a positive impact on Vermont’s housing market.