First UK Council votes to divest its Pension Fund from fossil fuels

The day after Hebden Bridge fossil fuel cleaners were out in St George’s Square collecting signatures for a petition to the West Yorkshire Pension Fund to divest from fossil fuels,  the Waltham Forest Council Pension Fund Committee committed to divest their £735 million pension fund from all fossil fuels, becoming the first in the UK to make this full commitment.

If this London  borough Council can do it, so can Calderdale Council and the other West Yorkshire Councils.

UK local government pension schemes invest over £14 billion in the fossil fuel industry, but these investments are overpriced and risk becoming stranded assets as a result of the carbon bubble – an example of overpricing that could be as calamitous for the finance industty and people’s pensions as the overpriced junk mortgages that led to the 2008 collapse of the global financial sector.

The Waltham Forest motion was passed unanimously, to protect the pension pots and safe futures of 18,000 local members.

Chair of the Pension Fund Committee, Councillor Simon Miller, commented:

“Waltham Forest Pension Fund is proud to commit to divesting from fossil fuels. Not only does this mean that the fund will not be invested in stranded assets , but will beactively investing in cleaner, greener investments to the benefit of our community, borough, and environment.”

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