Scottish MPs call on parliamentary pension fund to divest from fossil fuel companies

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 4 December 2018 in News

Campaign urges UK Parliamentary Pension Fund to quantify, disclose and review its investments in carbon-intensive industries

Image credit: Parliament

A cross-party group of Scottish MPs have urged the UK Parliamentary Pension Fund to divest from fossil fuel companies.

The ‘pledge’, which has backing from SNP, Scottish Conservative, Scottish Labour, and Scottish Lib Dem MPs, call for the House of Commons Pension Fund to review and phase out fossil fuel investments.

The statement, backed by more than 200 MPs across the UK, warns that “unmitigated climate change threatens to undermine our economy, shared environment and global security” before calling on the fund to quantify, disclose and review its investments in carbon-intensive industries, engage in a dialogue on responsible investment, and commit to phasing out fossil fuel investments.

It says: “We believe Members of Parliament have a responsibility to act on climate change, and a unique opportunity to show leadership on climate action, responsible investment and the management of climate risk through addressing the practices of our own pension fund.”

The move comes as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon travels to the 2018 UN Climate Change Conference in Poland.

Mhairi Black, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South, said: “Today’s young generation, and their children and grandchildren, will face devastating weather impacts, if we don’t take action now. This means a rapid phasing out of fossil fuels and investing in a progressive and just transition to a zero-carbon economy.

“Scotland is already leading the way in this: we have set ourselves ambitious climate protection goals, and are rapidly scaling up renewable energy technologies. I am very pleased to unite with my fellow MPs from Scotland and around the country in urging the UK Parliament to show climate leadership and remove their pension investments from fossil fuel companies.”

Meanwhile a growing number of Conservative MPs have also backed the campaign, which was launched in 2014.

Luke Graham, Conservative MP for Ochil and South Perthshire, said: “Climate Change is one of the greatest challenges we face, and we must show leadership on the world stage to reduce global emissions and ensure that we limit temperature increases to 1.5C. This includes supporting the transition from fossil fuels to a low carbon economy.

“Scotland already has great potential through our infrastructure and expertise to be a world leader in lowering greenhouse gas emissions and creating green jobs. I am therefore delighted to be joining together with my fellow MPs from across the political spectrum in signing the Divest Parliament pledge and in calling for our pensions to be invested in an environmentally sustainable and ethical way.”

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