Local councils across the UK have £16.1bn of their workers’ pensions invested in fossil fuel companies and are failing to take account of climate change risk in their investment policies, divestment campaigners have claimed. Council rankings based on their oil, gas and coal company investments were released yesterday by a coalition of green groups, including 350.org, Platform, Energy Democracy Project, and Friends of the Earth. The data enable residents to see every company or fund their local authority invests in. The value of fossil fuel investments held by councils’ funds actually went up 15 per cent in the two years since the last analysis, although the increase was mainly due to currency fluctuations. As a proportion of total investments, the cash invested in fossil fuels fell from £14bn out of a £230bn pool in 2015 to £16.1bn out of £289.9bn. Manchester, Dumfries and Galloway, Torfaen, Hammersmith and Fulham, and Merseyside councils are among the most exposed to fossil fuel investments, according to the rankings, and the campaigners argue there has been little overall change in council’s investment policies to take account of climate risk over the past two years. Yet the rankings also highlight several example of councils investing in clean energy, such as Strathclyde Pension Fund’s £10m holding in hydro station owner Albion Community Power and Lancashire county council’s £12m investment in Westmill Solar Co-operative.
Business Green 10th Nov 2017 read more »