Fossil fuel investments are becoming increasingly less attractive because of the global transition to a more sustainable economic and environmental model.
- The Berkshire Pension Fund has of the order of £27million invested in fossil fuels.
- Divesting this pension fund would be a clear and meaningful action that can be taken at a local government level to positively impact on this council’s green agenda.
- Fossil fuel investments are becoming increasingly less attractive because of the global transition to a more sustainable economic and environmental model.
Such investments are now being consistently out-performed by renewables. In light of this, and supported by the statements below
- Former Bank of England Governor Mark Carney warned in December 2019 that fossil fuel investments risk becoming “stranded assets” (i.e. worthless) as investors exit the sector.
- As continued investments in fossil fuels pose material financial risks to portfolios, funds have fiduciary duties to consider the benefits of decarbonising as part of their investment strategies.
- Pension funds have a legal duty to treat members ‘fairly as between them.’ Meaning that the longer-term interests of younger members who may well be affected more by the climate transition must be taken into account.
This Council commits to:
- Call on the Berkshire Pension Fund to divest from fossil fuels. This can be done through the Council’s representative on the pension fund advisory panel calling for the development, adaptation and adoption of responsible investment policies which:
- Immediately freezes any new investment in publicly traded fossil fuel companies.
- Divests the fund within three years from direct ownership of both primary fossil fuel corporations and any commingled funds that include fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds
- Actively seeks to invest in companies that are making significant attempts to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and minimise climate risk.
- Recognise that fossil fuel investments should be considered as part of the council’s ‘carbon footprint’ and the divestment of the Berkshire pension fund is an important step we can take to reduce our impact on our community and the world.