Councils pensions out of fossil fuel

31 July 2019

 

More than £150million in pension funds at a Suffolk council are to be put into a dedicated pot investing in climate-aware companies, it has emerged.

Suffolk County Council's pension fund committee last week agreed the transfer into a UBS Climate Aware World Equity Fund, which effectively aims to produce similar returns to existing investments but into companies with lower carbon emissions.The money has come out of the council's £2.9billion passive equity investments fund - investments which are held long term to reduce fees associated with frequent buying and selling.

It marks the authority's first steps into a portfolio recognising reduced carbon emissions, following the council's decision to declare a climate emergency in the spring.

Pension fund committee member Robert Lindsay has been campaigning for more environmentally-friendly investments, and said:

"I'm delighted the committee has taken this first step into moving money away from the fossil fuel industry. 

This is the first action the county has taken in this direction since we declared a climate emergency four months ago and I believe it is the first acknowledgement by Suffolk pension committee that we need to take account of the climate crisis in the way we invest the money, so it is a very significant principle that has been established.In financial terms this a relatively baby step, but I very much hope that we will move more of the fund into low carbon before the end of the year and that quite soon, the whole fund can be de-carbonised. We were very careful to check that taking this step would not significantly affect performance of the fund."

Extinction Rebellion, which earlier in the month gave a demonstration outside the council's base at Endeavour House, Ipswich, has already called for investments in fossil fuel firms to be withdrawn and a carbon-friendly pot to be established instead.

As of March this year, the council's largest single-company investment of pension funds was in Royal Dutch Shell, with that fund at £23.6m.

Conservative councillor Andrew Reid added: "The Suffolk pension fund is committed to investing in environmentally aware investments that produce sustainable returns that are not detrimental to the committee's fiduciary duty."


East Anglian Daily Times 29 July 2019 Jason Noble Local democracy reporter

 

 

 






Regional News

  • Come to Peterborough Cathedral on 31st August
  • Green Party MEP Responds to Threat of "No Deal"
  • Increased pro-EU sentiment in Britain
  • Meetings & Events

    Next meeting Thursday 19th September 

    Café 52. Stowmarket 

    Refreshments from 7pm 

    Speaker 8.15pm - Catherine Rowett MEP 

    She will be visiting Stowmarket at the end of a busy session in Strasbourg.  She will be talking about what it is like to be an MEP, how we can work with Greens in Europe in the future and how we can cut through the Brexit mess and take some positive messages from the EU.  

    All Green members and supporters are welcome.

     - Mid Suffolk meetings generally held at Cafe 52, Crowe Street, Stowmarket, Suffolk, IP14 1DL

    7:30 PM

     - Meetings occasionally held in Woolpit, Eye, Walsham le Willows, Stowupland, Needham Market and other villages.

    All Members and well-wishers welcome.

    Social Media

    You can now receive regular updates and information on our social media sites:

    Facebook Icon MidSuffolkGreenParty

    Twitter Icon MidSuffolkGreens