Amazing news! After some brilliant campaigning, the West Midlands is one step closer to being completely fossil free as the UK’s second largest city has passed a divestment motion.
Last night at the Birmingham City Council meeting, a motion passed unanimously, with the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat groups all voting in favour. The motion stated that fossil fuel investments are ‘environmentally and financially irresponsible’ and commits the council to alter its own investment strategy, as well as apply pressure to the £14 billion West Midlands Pension Fund to divest.
— Fossil Free UK (@FossilFree_UK) July 12, 2017
Divest West Midlands campaigner, Kay Edwards said:
‘This is a wonderful that Birmingham City Council has shown leadership Birmingham in leading the way towards a fossil free future for the West Midlands.
‘We welcome commitments to press the pension fund to divest the £393 million it currently invests in coal, oil and gas companies. Instead, the West Midlands could reinvest this money into building new homes, clean renewable energy or public transport.’
The West Midlands Pension Fund, which manages the pensions of over 300,000 people, currently invests over £350 million in companies such as Shell, BP, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton. The motion was proposed by Councillor Roger Harmer, following calls from regional campaign group Divest West Midlands Pension Fund. He said;
‘If we are to save our environment for future generations it is vital that we leave most of our coal and oil resources in the ground. It therefore makes no sense for Birmingham’s pension funds to be investing in industries based on exploiting these resources. Instead we should be investing more in low carbon technologies, which enable us to live cleaner, healthier lives.’
Local residents who would like to find out more about the motion and get involved in the campaign, go to divestwmpf.org