Dyfed Reinvest - divestment campaign 12th Oct 2016
Divestment is the opposite of investment – it means taking money out of stocks, bonds or investment funds. Pembrokeshire County Council, as part of the Dyfed Pension Fund, has an astonishing £64.8m of public money directly invested through workers’ pension funds in fossil fuel companies like BP and Shell, with a further projected £76.5m in indirect fossil fuel investments.
We think that fund members and taxpayers won’t be happy to learn that their money is tied up with such a risky and polluting industry that contributes so greatly to climate change.
80% of fossil fuel reserves need to remain in the ground to avoid catastrophic climate change. Consequently, there are growing concerns about the long-term financial risks of fossil fuel investments.
Together with Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire FoE groups, we will be calling on the Fund to wind down their exposure to the top 200 fossil fuel companies over a 5-year period. The money could instead be invested into building new homes, improving public transport or supporting local clean renewable energy projects.
Legal clarification in 2014 suggested that wider social, ethical or environmental considerations can affect investment choices by fund managers, provided there is no material detriment to the fund. However, last year UK Government issued proposals on regulation of investment principles that may prevent this, due to fears that councils may use pension and procurement policies to pursue their own boycotts and sanctions.
It is therefore important that our campaign shows clearly how risky such an investment strategy is, so that the fund trustees can take the decision to divest based on the ‘best return’ basis.
You can help by signing the campaign petition –
You can read more by downloading our briefing paper -