By Cllr Sally Longford, Deputy Leader, Nottingham City Council
I am calling on the Nottinghamshire Local Government Pension Fund to stop investing in fossil fuels to show our commitment to tackling climate change.
This is not only an environmentally sound stance, but increasingly financially sensible too.
The fund, which provides the pensions for thousands of local council workers, currently holds around £112.6m in BP and Shell stocks and a further exposure of around £67.5m in the two companies through other investments.
Yet the financial case for investment in the sector is deteriorating. The outgoing Governor of the Bank of England recently warned that investment in the sector could rapidly become “worthless” and the world’s biggest fund manager, Blackrock, announced its plan to divest from coal investments. Brunel Pension Partnership, which manages £30billion on behalf of ten government bodies, is demanding that investment managers reduce their exposure to ‘climate risk.’
It’s clear that the tide is turning against fossil fuel investments, which are increasingly seen as high risk, and in Nottinghamshire we should be taking the lead and not only divesting from these investments, but also encouraging new investment in renewable energy and sustainable development.
Having declared a Climate and Ecological Emergency, and our intention to be carbon neutral by 2028, the use of fossil fuels and investment in them is in conflict with the City Council’s policy. Our pension fund therefore needs to stop investing in them as a matter of urgency to reflect our position and to send out a signal that as well as caring about the future of their employees, Nottinghamshire councils above all care about the future of the whole planet.