East Sussex Pension Fund (ESPF) has an estimated £172 million invested in fossil fuels (oil, coal & gas).
Investing in the fossil fuel industry is dangerous for the environment.
We know that to maintain a stable climate, we have to rapidly cut back on the fossil fuels we burn. Known fossil fuel reserves contain several times more coal, oil and gas than can safely be burned, but fossil fuel companies continue to invest huge sums exploring for more. It is time to move our money from the problem to the solution and invest in a clean energy future.
Investing in fossil fuels is financially risky
Remember the sub-prime mortgage crisis in the US that triggered the financial crash of 2008? Many establishment figures are warning us that fossil fuels could become the sub-prime assets of the future. The Governor of the Bank of England has warned that the vast majority of fossil fuel reserves are likely to be unburnable and has launched a major enquiry into this risk. Similarly, the President and the former Chief Economist of the World Bank, and the UN's top climate change official have issued warnings of stranded assets. Similarly, the President and the former Chief Economist of the World Bank, and the UN's top climate change official have issued warnings that investments in fossil fuels could suffer a dramatic loss in value. HSBC recently advised its clients against investing in fossil fuel companies on the grounds that they will become "economically unviable."
Divestment removes exposure to these financial risks and sends a strong message to politicians and the industry that we urgently need to change how energy is generated and used
All over the world people are urging their institutions to “divest” (move their money away) from these dangerous and financially risky fuels. A growing number of workplaces, universities, places of worship and local governments have joined the UN-backed divestment campaign, including Oxford City Council, Glasgow University, the British Medical Association, the Rockefeller Foundation, the World Council of Churches, the Quaker movement and the cities of Oslo, Seattle and San Francisco.
On 13 April 2016, Labour and Conservative Councillors on Hastings Borough Council joined forces to pass a unanimous fossil fuels divestment motion, and urged East Sussex County Council to follow their lead.
You can take action
As a member of the East Sussex Pension Fund, you can protect your pension - and add your voice to the call to divest from fossil fuels (and for a move to a more sustainable energy system) - by emailing the Chair of the East Sussex Pension Fund Committee and asking him to divest the Fund from fossil fuels.
Please write to Councillor Stogdon only if you are an East Sussex Pension Fund member.