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Labour’s Maya Evans is hoping to regain her Borough Council seat in Hollington whilst Julia Hilton is standing for the Green Party in Old Hastings in the Borough Council elections and Old Hastings and Tressell in the East Sussex County Council elections.

53 County Council candidates sign pledge for fossil fuel divestment

53 candidates for the 6 May elections to East Sussex County Council (ESCC) have signed a climate action pledge, committing themselves to supporting the divestment of the East Sussex Pension Fund from fossil fuels – the Conservatives are only main political party with no signatories in East Sussex. The East Sussex Pension Fund, which is administered by East Sussex County Council, currently has over £70m of local people’s pension monies invested in the giant oil and gas companies like Shell and BP. Erica Smith looks at which candidates in the Hastings area have signed the pledge.

The Labour, Green and Liberal Democrat parties all have candidates who have signed the pledge, which has been created by the South East Climate Alliance (SECA), a coalition of over 100 environmental, community and faith groups from across Hampshire, Sussex, Surrey, and Kent.

Though some Conservative candidates for West Sussex, Hampshire and Surrey County Councils have signed, not a single Conservative candidate for ESCC has done so. All candidates for whom either a postal or email address was available were invited to sign.

A spokesperson for Divest East Sussex said: “By continuing to invest local people’s pensions in the giant oil companies like Shell and BP, that refuse to stop approving new oil extraction projects, the East Sussex Pension Fund and East Sussex County Council are helping to make it impossible for the world to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

“Making a commitment to stop investing in fossil fuels (‘divestment’) is a litmus test for whether an institution – or a candidate – is serious about tackling climate change. Unfortunately, it’s one that East Sussex County Council is currently failing. In this crucial year for the climate, we all need East Sussex County Council to stop making excuses and take a stand against these companies that are taking our world over the edge.”

Candidates for Hastings Borough Council have also been invited to sign the pledge – with nearly a full board of Green and Labour candidates and one LibDem having signed up at the time of going to press. Again, the Conservatives are notable by their refusal to take climate change seriously.

The register of candidates who have signed the pledge can be viewed on the South East Climate Alliance website. Further names may be added to the pledge document before midnight on Wednesday 5 May.

List of East Sussex County Council candidates who have signed the ABCDpledge to stop climate change. No Conservatives have signed the pledge.

List of Hastings Borough Council candidates who have signed the ABCDpledge to stop climate change. Only one LibDem and no Conservative candidates have signed up.

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Posted 21:28 Wednesday, May 5, 2021 In: Local Government

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