Laura Sharman 26 September 2016

London council to divest pension from fossil fuels

London council to divest pension from fossil fuels image

Waltham Forest Council has become the first local authority in the UK to divert its pension fund from all fossil fuels.

The council has approved a recommendation to stop investing its Local Government Pension Scheme in fossil fuels within the next five years.

Chair of the Pension Fund Committee, cllr Simon Miller, said: ‘Waltham Forest Pension Fund is proud to commit to divesting from fossil fuels.

‘Not only does this mean that the fund will not be invested in stranded assets, but will be actively investing in cleaner, greener investments to the benefit of our community, borough, and environment.’

The pension fund is worth £735m and currently invests £23.9m in the oil and gas industries.

The news was welcomed by climate change campaigners 350.org. Ellen Gibson, UK divestment campaigner, said: ‘This is a big moment for the divestment movement in the UK. Waltham Forest has demonstrated the kind of action we need all pension funds to be taking to address the urgent issue of climate change and to protect their workers’ futures. We are calling on them to join Waltham Forest and hundreds of institutions globally, and divest from fossil fuels.’

Three other local government pension schemes - South Yorkshire, Haringey and the Environment Agency - have made partial commitments to divest from fossil fuels.

Analysis last year found local government workers have lost up to £683m from their pension funds due to the fall in coal share prices.

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