Climate protest in Edinburgh


Extinction Rebellion gathered at the offices of one of the Scottish Government's main pension fund managers this morning

14th January 2020 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Climate protestors caused disruption in Edinburgh this morning (Tuesday 14 January).

Extinction Rebellion gathered at the doors of the offices of Baillie Gifford, one of the Scottish Government's main pension fund managers.

The investment management company manages the MSP pension fund, the group said, and have increased pension fund shares in energy company Shell by 19.5%.

Around 50 protestors gathered in Leith Street, with a large police presence in place.

A statement from the group said: "We're targeting the financial systems that fund and profit from the destruction of the planet. We're here with four lock-ons and around 70 folk outside Baillie Gifford on Leith Street, the company that manages the MSP pension fund (current assets of over £85 million).

"Despite calls from MSPs to divest, pension fund shares in Shell have increased by 19.5% since.

"We demand Baillie Gifford and MSPs stand by their statements to care deeply about the impacts of climate change, and stop funding fossil fuel extraction."

Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie said: “It’s important to lead by example, which is why MSPs of all colours have been calling for an end to unethical investments of our pension funds.

“During a climate emergency, any investment in our future must recognise that unlimited extraction of fossil fuels is simply incompatible with the available science on global warming. We’ve seen that universities are beginning to recognise this. It’s time for investment firms and other financial institutions to catch up.”

The demonstration has caused road congestion in the area, with bus routes diverted.

A spokesman for Police Scotland said: "We are aware of planned demonstration activity taking place in Edinburgh today and have appropriate resources dedicated to ensure the safety of the public and minimise disruption to the wide public."