Less than a year after its launch, the Divest Parliament campaign has grown into an impressive cross-party movement of over 100 MPs calling on their pension fund to halt investment in dirty fossil fuels.
And the 100th MP to sign?
We must all act to stop climate change.
On the second anniversary of the Paris Agreement, I’m proud to be the 100th MP to sign up to this #DivestParliament campaign. The UK must stick to its commitments and lead in the transition to a zero-carbon economy. pic.twitter.com/hYASJfGdW2
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) December 11, 2017
That’s right, last week Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell and Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn became the 99th and 100th MPs to sign the pledge, showing support for the campaign at the highest levels within the Labour Party and, as reported in the Financial Times “underscoring how a Labour government would approach climate change.”
“Our country must show leadership in confronting the existential threat posed by climate change. One contribution we can make as MPs is to end the investment from our pension fund in fossil fuel industries, which is why I have signed the pledge.
“To help protect our planet, we must wean our economy off its fossil fuel dependence and do more to move towards clean and renewable energy.” – Jeremy Corbyn.
The announcement shows just how quickly divestment is rising up the UK’s political agenda. In just over a year, the campaign has grown from two MPs – Green Party Leader Caroline Lucas and Labour’s Barry Gardiner – to over 100 from across the political spectrum.
This is 100 MPs who are showing how vital it is for our politicians to put their rhetoric on climate change into action. As Caroline Lucas wrote in the New Statesman:
“We want to see a pension fund that takes the risks of climate change seriously, an argument that has growing legal support. We want to see our fund align with the UK government’s commitment to tackling climate change, by investing in the technologies and companies that are bringing about the transition to a zero-carbon economy.”
Other recent signees include Labour MP’s Rebecca Long-Bailey, David Lammy and Harriet Harman, Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith, Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb and SNP MP Ian Blackford – all of whom are showing leadership on climate change by calling on the Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund (PCPF) to “uphold its fiduciary duty and take the financial risks of climate change seriously” by disclosing and limiting its exposure to fossil fuels.
2nd anniversary of #ParisAgreement yesterday, but MP’s Pension Fund still investing in fossil fuels. Essential the fund is divested from fossil fuels if we are 2 lead in the transition to a low-carbon economy. The govt. needs 2 take climate change seriously. #DivestParliament
— Norman Lamb (@normanlamb) December 12, 2017
And in just one week since last Monday’s announcement, the another 16 current and former MPs have also joined the call.
But at the centre of the Divest Parliament is you – the constituents who are putting pressure on your MPs to show their support by signing the pledge.
The UK wants climate action, and to date thousands of people have now emailed or met with their MP, calling on them to show political leadership on climate action and divest from fossil fuels. In just the last week, another 1000 of you have emailed your MPs to demand action. With this ongoing support, the Divest Parliament campaign will quickly become an unstoppable force.
As Labour MP Rebecca Long Bailey wrote in the Guardian:
“Our words in Paris must be matched by our actions in parliament – our constituents expect nothing less. This starts, but by no means finishes, with where we invest millions of pounds through our pensions.”