Latest Public Sector News

26.06.17

Union commits to divesting Scottish LG pension funds away from fossil fuels

A union has announced it will campaign for the divestment of its local government pensions away from fossil fuels over the next five years.

Unison argues that the measures will be taken to reduce carbon emissions by moving pension funds away from coal, gas and oil.

Not only this, but the union said that investment in fossil fuels also poses a major risk to its members pension funds.

“Our pensions funds consist of billions of pounds spread across many areas to ensure sustainability,” said Stephen Smellie, Scotland regional representative of Unison.

“We need a successful investment strategy to pay our pensions. However, we do have a wider interest – good pensions might not help if the planet is frying.”

He went on to explain that when government actually keep to existing agreements to keep the temperature rise below 2 degrees, this limits fossil fuel use and drives down the share prices of BO, Shell and other fossil fuel companies – which would make pensions less valuable.

Due to 5% of Scottish local government pension funds (worth around £1.7bn) being invested in fossil fuel companies, Smellie continued to say that alternative strategies were needed to limit the impact on the environment.

“This won’t be easy, we do not yet have sufficient influence or power over our pension fund,” Smellie stated. “We need to engage with our members, with the councillors who sit on the finance committees, fund managers and stress on them that their legal and fiduciary duty requires them to divest.”

And Norah Adeyemo, from the Glasgow City Unison branch, added: “This motion is very relevant to our members and all of us. We need to mobilise about this issue in our communities and or planet. We need to mobilise about these issues in our communities and branches.”

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >

interviews

Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

The evolution of digital transformation for local government

05/06/2020The evolution of digital transformation for local government

Content provided by TechnologyOne, editorially reviewed by Public Sector Executive. A CEO’s perspective  Andrew Grant, former CEO of Aylesbury V... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >