Councils invest £1.8 billion in fossil fuels

Fossil fuels web

Friends of the Earth Scotland has revealed the extent to which local authorities invest in oil, coal and gas firms

9th November 2017 by Gareth Jones 1 Comment

Scottish local authorities have invested more than a billion pounds in fossil fuels.

Friends of the Earth Scotland has revealed that pension investments worth £1.8 billion have been made in coal, oil or gas firms.

Dumfries and Galloway was the worst offender, investing 9.4% of their entire pension fund in fossil fuels and the Strathclyde Pension Fund, Scotland’s largest, invested £803 million in fossil fuels.

Overall Scottish council pension investment in fossil fuels has increased by £146 million since 2015.

The charity have said that the investments conflict with positive work that is going on to reduce emissions.

Ric Lander, Friends of the Earth Scotland divestment campaigner, said: “Scotland’s councils are ignoring the realities of climate change. Their investments in deeply destructive fossil fuel companies fly in the face of Scotland’s wider efforts to phase out fossil fuel cars and ban fracking.

“Fossil fuel companies won’t be talked into dropping their core business of digging oil, gas and coal out of the ground. Councillors who oversee these funds need to take action to make their pension funds compatible with a future worth living in by divesting.”

Several councils in England have shown leadership by committing to divest from fossil fuels including Southwark, South Yorkshire and Waltham Forest.

Councillor Simon Miller – former chair of the Waltham Forest Pension Fund – said: “I am proud that Waltham Forest has committed to divest from fossil fuels. Given current pressures on local authority budgets, our pension funds have a key role to play, not only in making our economy greener and our communities healthier, but as driver of sustainable, future focused investment in local areas.”

A spokesman for local government umbrella body Cosla said: “The Scottish Local Government Pension Funds make investment decisions in line with their fiduciary duty and legal obligations.

“Accountability lies entirely with their pension funds and the respective pension committees with regards to the decisions made.” 

13th November 2017 by lok yue

If it was a choice between my pension being under-funded or investing in fossil fuels, i'd choose the latter, any day. When passenger aircraft work on wind turbines and solar panels, I'll change my mind but until then our electricity generation will always be underpinned by fossil fuels, which are at least reliable