November 9, 2017 Read More →

Fossil Fuel Investments Held by UK Councils Jump 15% to £16bn

Financial Times:

Councils that rank highest in their fossil fuel exposure include the £17.2bn Greater Manchester Pension Fund, the UK’s second-largest local government scheme, which had 10.2 per cent of its assets exposed to companies that generate revenues from oil, gas and coal. Dumfries and Galloway was the second highest with 9.4 per cent.

Platform London said the 15 per cent increase reflected currency fluctuations rather than councils actively ramping up their exposure but the rise attests to the slow pace of disinvestment from the sector.

Pension funds covering professions from acting to academia are under pressure to cut fossil fuel investments amid concerns about financial returns as well as environmental damage.

Last month a group of 60 academics and campaigners called on Cambridge university to drop investments in fossil fuels from its £6.3bn endowment fund, the largest in the world outside the US.

Unison, the public sector union, passed a motion in June calling on local government schemes to divest from fossil fuels over the next five years.

“As public-facing institutions, councils are bound to be under pressure,” said Gerard Wynn, energy finance consultant at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a research organisation.

Fossil fuel investments held by UK councils jump 15% to £16bn

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