East Sussex Pension Fund: Divest from Fossil Fuels
East Sussex County Council has roughly £150m of local people’s pension monies invested in oil, coal and gas (fossil fuels) – a threat to your pension.
Investing in fossil fuels is damaging the balance of our climate
We know that to maintain a stable climate, we have to rapidly cut back on the fossil fuels we burn. Known reserves of fossil fuels already contain several times more coal, oil and gas than can safely be burned, but companies like BP and Exxon are still planning to use all their reserves and are investing huge sums exploring for more.
Investing in fossil fuels is financially risky
The Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has warned that investors face 'potentially huge' losses from climate change action that could make vast reserves of oil, coal and gas 'literally unburnable'. UK public pension funds recently lost nearly a billion dollars when the value of their coal investments plummeted.
But the good news is...
Ditching investments in fossil fuels (divestment) removes exposure to these financial risks and sends a strong message to politicians and industry that we urgently need to change how our energy is generated and used.
Moreover, it shouldn’t have a negative impact on financial performance.
All over the world organisations are divesting from fossil fuels, including: the cities of Oslo, Seattle and Oxford; Glasgow University; the Rockefeller Brothers Fund; the World Council of Churches; and the Waltham Forest and Southwark Pension Funds.
In 2016, Labour and Conservative Councillors on Hastings Borough Council joined forces to call on the County Council to ditch these damaging and risky investments. Since then, Brighton & Hove City Council and Lewes Town Council have also added their support for such a move, and in 2017 UNISON voted nationally to support the divestment of local government pension funds from fossil fuels.
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 cleaner energy system) – by emailing the Chair of the East Sussex Pension Fund Committee, asking him to divest the Fund from fossil fuels.
Together we can send a strong message to the East Sussex Pension Fund Committee that it's time to move our money away from the problem and into the solutions.
Please write to Councillor Stogdon only if you are an East Sussex Pension Fund member.