Fossil fuel divestment edges closer for parliament pension fund

Friday 12th April 2019 | Jake

The UK parliament’s pension fund trustees plan to tweak the rules for their investments, taking into account each investments effect on climate change. The rule change will see the fund – paid for by the taxpayer – move away from fossil fuel investments, although the trustees didn’t commit to a full divestment in the fossil fuel industry.

The pension fund will from here onwards limit the money it puts into companies dealing in fossil fuel as part of its new “climate change policy”, putting pressure on companies to adopt renewable energy. A group of MPs had lobbied the trustees for years to divest, with this being the first step on the road to complete divestment. Caroline Lucas, a Green party MP, has campaigned for fossil fuel divestment for years. She was understandably happy with the news, saying: “Protecting the natural world is now humanity’s greatest mission, so this change of tack from the MPs’ pension fund is very welcome.”

Caroline Lucas MP

The divestment movement continues apace then. Increasing numbers of investors are avoiding the fossil fuel industry, thanks, in large parts, to the efforts of the divestment campaign. In particular, public pension funds and university pension funds face mounting pressure to divest. Roughly two-thirds of university and public funds have either divested or revised their investment policy.