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Local Authority Pension Funds divestment

Posted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 8:41 am
by biffvernon
Turns out a lot of Local Authority Pension Funds hold quite a bit of investments in firms like BP and Shell. There's a divestment campaign going and if there isn't one in your patch it's easy to start one with the help of these tools:

http://gofossilfree.org/uk/local-authority-campaigns/

Here's the petition I started:

https://campaigns.gofossilfree.org/peti ... ssil-fuels

Posted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:02 am
by emordnilap
Wow. Going by your figures there, that's a huge amount of money not just invested in fossil fuels but invested by the council pension funds in total (£1.5 billion ish?). And I wouldn't see Lincolnshire CC as being the biggest by a long way; nonetheless, multiply those sorts of figures across the country.

Then imagine if all that money was invested in improving things.

I hope you have good luck with it.

Posted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:26 am
by PS_RalphW
UK local authorities were required by law to invest their pension funds in blue chip organisations that gave the best dividend returns regardless of all other factors.

A lot a money disappeared from the funds in 2008 and when other dubious corporations went broke.

Posted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:39 am
by emordnilap
PS_RalphW wrote:UK local authorities were required by law to invest their pension funds in blue chip organisations that gave the best dividend returns regardless of all other factors.
Mad. Last I read, ethical procurement was also banned. There are EU rules about tendering which can be crazy, such as educational materials in Irish being printed in Madrid, ballot papers etc, with no considerations for the environment or maintaining local employment.
Given the evidence that ESG [Environmental and Social Governance] factors can lead to better returns in the long run, the answer is clearly that pension trustees not only can consider wider factors – in many cases, they should.
Source

Posted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:45 am
by biffvernon
It seems that £14 billion is invested by UK local authorities in fossil fuels. There's a long list here: http://gofossilfree.org/uk/pensions/

Yes, the local authorities have a duty to invest in 'safe' places, but the point now is that they have this fiduciary duty to check that the investments really are safe, and with people all the way up to the chairman of the Bank of England casting doubt on fossil fuel industries and talking about stranded assets, this is the time to divest.

And it help to divest before the rush!

Posted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 1:11 pm
by clv101
emordnilap wrote:Then imagine if all that money was invested in improving things.
You'd be surprised many people people don't think you get a 'return' by improving things. Shame really.