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Call for pension fund to stop fossil fuel investment

The Leader of South Oxfordshire District Council has written to Oxfordshire Pension Fund Committee asking them to stop investing in fossil fuel companies.

The Leader, Cllr Sue Cooper, sent the letter to the Committee for the Local Government Pension Scheme for Oxfordshire, which administers pensions for more than 200 employers and thousands of staff – including those of the Vale of White Horse District Council.

This follows a decision by full council last month to outline the council’s opposition to the investment and also to establish a climate emergency advisory committee.

Cllr Cooper wrote; “Given the challenge of limiting the effects of climate change, we believe that it is inappropriate that the Oxfordshire Pension Fund maintains links with companies whose very purpose is the extraction and sale of carbon intensive energy. Moreover, these investments are not in alignment with either South Oxfordshire’s or the UK’s declaration of a Climate Emergency.

“These non-renewable energy corporations are the primary drivers of the climate crisis that is threatening our planet, with research showing that none of the ten largest publicly listed oil and gas producers are on track to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. We would argue that there are sustainable alternatives to investing in fossil fuel companies and, therefore, call on the Oxfordshire Pension Fund to explore the reinvestment of its funds into appropriate renewable energy companies.

“Furthermore, in consideration of the lack of action taken by these non-renewable energy corporations to address the issue of climate change and transition towards renewable energy, South Oxfordshire contends that the Fund’s stated defence of its fossil fuel investments – that this gives them influence as shareholders – is untenable. We, therefore, ask you to acknowledge that this approach has failed to bring about the real change required to limit catastrophic global warming.”

The letter can be viewed here (159.0 KB) PDF .

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