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Campaigners deliver the brochure to Forest Row Parish Council.

Campaigners deliver the divestment brochure to Forest Row Parish Council.

Tools launched for fossil fuel divestment

Campaigners from around East Sussex have launched a new brochure and web tool to help members of the East Sussex Pension Fund (ESPF) lobby the county council to reinvest the £172 million it currently has invested in the coal, oil and gas industries. Fossil Free Hastings reports.

Members of the East Sussex Pension Fund can use the new web tool (available on the Divest ESPF website) to contact the chair of the East Sussex Pension Committee, Cllr Richard Stogdon, and urge the committee to divest the fund from fossil fuels. A printed brochure with a tear-off slip addressed to the pension committee chair, suitable for pension fund members to share with their colleagues, is also available free on request from Fossil Free Hastings (c/o Ore Place Farmhouse, TN34 2RA or divesteastsussex@gmail.com).

The brochure and web tool both note the risk that investments in fossil fuels pose to many local people’s pensions, citing Bank of England Governor Mark Carney’s warning that investors in fossil fuels face “potentially huge” losses from climate change action that could make vast reserves of oil, coal and gas “literally unburnable”.

They also note that such investments are damaging the balance of our climate, and that a wide range of workplaces, universities and local governments around the world have already committed to move their investments away from fossil fuel companies.

The East Sussex Pension Fund – which is administered by the county council  – currently has an estimated £172 million invested in fossil fuels. In April Hastings Borough Council, a member of the pension fund, passed a unanimous cross-party motion calling on East Sussex County Council to divest the East Sussex Pension Fund from fossil fuels.

“Hastings Borough Council employees are expected to make over £240,000 in pension contributions to the East Sussex Pension Fund this financial year – a fund that currently has an estimated £172 million invested in the coal, oil and gas companies,” Julia Hilton from Fossil Free Hastings said. “These investments are not only damaging the balance of our climate but also pose serious financial risks to members of the fund.

“A growing number of major institutions across the world – including the cities of Oslo, Seattle, and Oxford, Glasgow University and the World Council of Churches – have already decided to move their funds out of fossil fuels, and last month Waltham Forest Pension Fund became the first UK pension fund to completely divest itself from fossil fuels.

“We now have a real opportunity to press the East Sussex Pension Fund to follow their examples. We urge members of the fund to visit the Divest ESPF website  or contact Fossil Free Hastings to get hold of a printed brochure – and make their voices heard in support of divestment.”

Posted 17:00 Wednesday, Oct 19, 2016 In: Campaigns

1 Comment

Please read our comment guidelines before posting on HOT

  1. Brian Gill

    Great work – Keep it up.
    Brian

    Comment by Brian Gill — Friday, Oct 21, 2016 @ 08:52

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