DIVEST DERBYSHIRE CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED
Today (November 1st) twelve groups (a) across Derbyshire have launched a Divest Derbyshire campaign to get Derbyshire Pension Fund to dis-invest from fossil fuels. A month before the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, the groups are calling for Derbyshire County Council to freeze any new investments and dis-invest from existing investments in fossil fuels within 5 years. The pension fund has £290 million invested in fossil fuel companies (b).
The group has today launched an online petition which will be circulated across Derbyshire and hopefully reach as many employee members of the pension fund as possible. The link is at: http://gofossilfree.org/uk/local-authority-campaigns/
Transition Chesterfield Secretary Lisa Hopkinson said “With world leaders meeting next month to discuss how to avert global catastrophe, we want Derbyshire to show its commitment to protecting the planet through this small but impactful action.”
The group also argue there are sound financial arguments to divest from fossil fuels. Fossil fuels create risks for investors if they become stranded assets (worthless fuel stocks that regulation will prevent from being burned). There is already evidence of investments in fossil fuels resulting in reductions in the value of pension funds (c).
The pension fund affects tens of thousands of employees of over 170 employers in Derbyshire including Derbyshire County Council, all the borough and District Councils in Derbyshire (d); Derby City Council; Chesterfield College; Derby College; Derbyshire Fire Authority; Derbyshire Police Authority; Peak District National Park Authority; University of Derby and a large group of smaller employers.
Institutions across the world including churches, universities, local authorities in the UK such as Bristol City Council and Oxford City Council, and the Environment Agency, have already committed to divest from fossil fuels.
For more information please contact Lisa Hopkinson on 07908-649648 or firstname.lastname@example.org
(a)This petition is supported by the following Derbyshire organisations (in alphabetical order): CAGE; Derby Climate Coalition; Glossopdale Transition Initiative; Melbourne Area Transition; Sustainable Edale; Sustainable Hayfield; Transition Belper; Transition Buxton (tbc); Transition Chesterfield, Transition Hope Valley, Transition New Mills. Transition Wirksworth; University of Derby Students’ Union
(b)This includes investments in Royal Dutch Shell, BP and Rio Tinto. Fossil fuel industries make up nearly 6% of the pension fund. See http://gofossilfree.org/uk/pensions/
(d) Amber Valley Borough Council; Bolsover District Council; Chesterfield Borough Council; Derby City Council; Derbyshire Dales District Council; Erewash Borough Council;; High Peak Borough Council;; North East Derbyshire District Council South Derbyshire District Council