A global climate crisis is underway, with extreme weather and rising sea levels threatening the lives of millions of people. Action is urgently needed, but our councils are still banking on the culprits.
New data has revealed that councils across the UK are investing more than £16 billion in the fossil fuel industry – the companies responsible for the climate crisis.
Halting the expansion of fossil fuels is a matter of survival for communities around the world – we need to stand in solidarity with them, and fight for climate justice.
It’s time for our councils to divest their pension funds from companies who are driving the climate crisis, and instead work for a just transition towards a fair, renewable future.
Email your councillor now and ask them to support the campaign to divest our council pension funds.
Somerset Urged to Stop Funding Fossil Fuels
New data released last week revealed that UK councils invest a staggering £16 billion in the fossil fuel industry such as oil, gas and coal. This includes Somerset County Council’s pension fund investing £125million of Council employee’s money into these businesses.
Cllr Shane Collins, leader of the Green Party group on Mendip District Council explained ‘This is not just disastrous for averting the worst impacts of climate change but it also doesn’t make good investment sense. Last year in just four months Somerset’s pension scheme lost £872,243 (1.) on these investments in coal, gas and oil in just 6 fossil fuel companies. If we are to keep climate change below 2oC then 80% of oil reserves must stay in the ground. These ‘stranded assets’ will dramatically affect the share price of fossil fuel corporations.’
Earlier this week Southwark Council announced that they are divesting their £1.2 billion pension fund away from fossil fuels. Fiona Colley, chair of their pension advisory panel, explained ‘This was a decision based primarily on our belief that climate change and significant investments in fossil fuels present a long term financial risk to our fund.’
A new group called Somerset Divest! has set up and is urging people to put pressure on Somerset County Council to divest too. An on-line petition is available here: http://bit.ly/1GKhFip , a Facebook Page and a working group are also being set up.
People can email their councillors to ask them to divest https://act.foe.co.uk/act/
It’s simple. If it’s wrong to wreck the climate, it’s wrong to profit from that wreckage.
Fossil fuel companies are driving the climate crisis and have successfully delayed action on climate change for decades. It’s time for our institutions to take a stand and divest from fossil fuels.