We are in a climate emergency, time to divest from fossil fuels
Since 2015 a group of Lambeth staff have been asking the council to stop investing in fossil fuels with Lambeth Council staff pension funds. The council has a pension pot fund of £1.3billion and approximately £60million of this is invested in fossil fuels. This is a strategy which is in complete juxtaposition to the council’s standpoint on climate change and on human rights in general.
By investing in fossil fuels, the council essentially undoes all of the great gains that Lambeth makes every year in terms of investing in cycle lanes, food waste collection and energy upgrades.
In December 2018, the Labour group made a commitment to:
- sell over £200m of global equities investments and reinvest the money in a low carbon alternative.
- sell down its remaining global equities investments and reinvest the proceeds as soon as a suitable alternative becomes available within the London Pension Collective Investment Vehicle framework (the collective pensions body for London councils).
- sell down its remaining equity investments (these are in emerging markets), and reinvest the proceeds as soon as a suitable alternative becomes available within the London CIV framework. A suitable alternative has been identified, and we will lobby the London CIV to include it or a similar fund within its framework.
- This is a really positive step and council officers are delighted. However, eight months on since that commitment was made, we have not yet seen any commitment from the council formally, nor any progress updates on how things are moving along. While it is certainly promising, it remains to be seen what will happen to our pension funds.