Big money managers clash on climate change

Dry cracked earth is visible near an almond orchard on April 24, 2015 in Firebaugh, California.
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Climate change can mean very different things out West than down South.

Managers of massive pension and endowment funds from California, Texas and North Carolina made clear their contrasting views on global warming and portfolios at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles last week.

"We are a small government state. I am not employed to express my personal opinion about things like this with other people's money," said Britt Harris, chief investment officer of the approximately $133 billion Teacher Retirement System of Texas. "I am employed to maximize their return."

The comments came the same week that New York University's senate voted to divest the school's $3.5 billion endowment from fossil fuel-related stocks, and the Church of England said it would cut more than $18 million in thermal coal and oil sands holdings from its multibillion dollar pension portfolio.