IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Islington Council must do more to cut pension fund’s carbon footprint

05 January, 2018

• WE are a group of Islington Council workers and residents calling on the council to immediately freeze any new investments in fossil fuels, and to divest from direct ownership and any commingled funds that include fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds within five years.

Climate change is the most pressing problem facing humanity. Extreme weather is increasingly affecting some of the world’s most vulnerable communities, and we want to protect this planet for our children and grandchildren.

Local government has a duty to act for the public good. Fossil fuels are in direct conflict with this: investing in them threatens the planet. We are strongly opposed to supporting this industry via our pension fund investments.

There is a wide consensus that 80 per cent of known fossil fuel reserves must remain in the ground in order to meet the binding targets of the Paris Agreement. As the global energy system undergoes a rapid transformation, fossil fuel companies cannot continue with business as usual and risk plummeting in value.

We commend the work the council has done so far to examine and reduce the carbon footprint of the pension fund. However, it is not enough. Maintaining any investments in fossil fuel companies risks pensioners’ returns on stranded assets and continues to fund climate change.

The council should be taking strong action to protect the pension fund from carbon risk and investing in green energy transformation instead. This is a chance for Islington to show solid leadership by addressing this urgent crisis.

We therefore ask the council to take a prudent economic decision and a strong moral stand by committing to move our money away from risky fossil fuel investments, joining more than 700 institutions worldwide.

SUSSAN RASSOULE, TIMOTHY HENDRY, ACACIA REDDING, MARTA GONZALEZ, SONIA DARINGTON, ERIC MANNERS, JO SHAW, KRISTA DIXON, MICHAEL RAY, JESSICA CLARK, JEN CRONIN, HANNAH STAAB, MICHAEL JOHNSON AND 21 OTHERS

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