Laura Sharman 23 June 2017

Union commits to moving council pension schemes away from fossil fuels

Local Government Pension Schemes should be divested from fossil fuels within five years, Unison has argued today.

The trade union has passed a motion to divest council pensions funds (where it has members) from oil, coal and gas.

Stephen Smellie, deputy convenor in Unison Scotland, said: ‘Our priority always needs to be to ensure our member's pensions are protected. We are increasingly aware that investments in fossil fuels are not only harmful to the environment but put the sustainable future of our pensions at risk.

‘Unison will now extend our campaigns to develop alternative investment strategies to enable pension funds to divest from fossil fuels over a number of years.’

Figures show that in 2015, £14bn from local government pensions were invested in fossil fuels. However, some councils such as Waltham Forest and Southwark have already agreed to move their pension assets away from oil, gas and coal.

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