, 24 September 2016, Tags:
Following news that Waltham Forest Pension Fund has become the first in the UK to divest from all fossil fuels, the joint coordinators of the Waltham Forest and Redbridge Green Party have written to the leader of Redbridge Council, urging Redbridge Council to do the same.
An Open Letter to Cllr Jas Athwal, Leader of Redbridge Council
Today the London Borough of Waltham Forest secured its place in the history books for all the right reasons: the borough is the very first in the whole of the UK to divest its pension fund entirely from fossil fuels. It is showing climate leadership at the local level at a time when our government continues to avoid making the sensible changes that we so desperately need to ensure a viable future for all.
The LGPS (Local Government Pension Scheme) has £14 billion invested in fossil fuels. The Redbridge pension pot has currently got £32,852,000 invested. The LGPS provides pensions for 4.6m people, including school staff, bus drivers, and park attendants, but a 2015 report revealed a sharp decline in the value of its holdings in coal. If fund managers fail to incorporate climate change and carbon risk into their investment strategy, the people whose jobs keep our community functioning could see their future pensions eroded. Fund managers could ultimately be sued if they ignore these risks.
Fossil fuel divestment is an unarguably positive move. It is a victory for common sense. It is a victory for economic sense. And it is a victory for climate sense. Cllr Athwal, we urge you, as Leader of Redbridge Council, to follow the lead of your trailblazing neighbours and make a firm pledge to protect your employees and divest Redbridge from these dirty, dangerous and ultimately stranded assets.
Joint Co-ordinators, Waltham Forest & Redbridge Green Party