Good news! Divest Parliament - the campaign to get our MP’s pension fund out of fossil fuels - gained its first big win this week, as the Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund (PCPF) has made its major investments public for the first time ever!
Preventing dangerous climate change means leaving at least 80% of known fossil fuel reserves in the ground. If our politicians are serious about tackling climate change, they shouldn’t be investing in them.
We’re calling on MPs to show leadership on climate action by divesting their pension from fossil fuels, and reinvesting in the sustainable economy of the 21st century.
How did it go? What did your MP say?
As constituents, MPs have to respond to our questions. Hopefully your MP agrees to sign the pledge straight away, but if not it would be useful to understand their concerns. Please let us know how your correspondence or meetings have gone, and we can help myth-bust common problems and provide support. You can get in contact here.
about the campaign
Already over 600 organisations and tens of thousands of individuals with assets worth over $3.4 trillion have made commitments to divest from fossil fuels, making this the fastest growing divestment movement the world has ever seen.
A group of cross-party MPs has been talking with the MPs Pension Fund since 2014 about climate risk and transparency, but the Trustees responses have failed to address the members concerns.
‘Divest Parliament’ is a campaign asking MPs to show leadership on climate action and responsible investment by supporting action on their own pension fund.
‘Unmitigated climate change threatens to undermine our economy, shared environment and global security. Under the UK’s Climate Change Act and the Paris Agreement, the UK is committed to limiting warming to well below 2C and to aim for no more than 1.5C. This requires leaving the vast majority of fossil fuel reserves unburnt, creating the real possibility of fossil fuel assets becoming stranded – with profound implications for the global economy.
We believe Members of Parliament have a responsibility to act on climate change, and a unique opportunity to show leadership on climate action, responsible investment and the management of climate risk through addressing the practices of our own pension fund.
As MPs past and present, and members of the Parliamentary Pension Fund, we call on the Trustees to uphold their fiduciary duty and take the financial risks of climate change seriously. We ask they quantify, disclose and review the fund’s investments in carbon-intensive industries, engage in a dialogue with fund members and managers on responsible investment, and commit to phasing out fossil fuel investments over an appropriate time-scale.’
A full list of supporters will be launched publicly in early 2017. Please ask your MP to sign the pledge! If you need more information, please contact Danni at 350.org.
If you are an MP, and are interested in signing, please let us know via this form.
There are many reasons why MPs may want to join the thousands of organisations and individuals with assets worth over $3.4 trillion already divested, and join the fastest growing divestment movement the world has ever seen:
The Paris Agreement saw 196 countries commit to action on climate change to limit warming to 2 degrees, ideally 1.5. Fulfilling these promise means a step change in action today, including leaving 80% of known fossil fuel reserves in the ground.
From South African Apartheid to Tobacco, we know that divestment campaigns have had huge impacts at shifting the discourse on key political issues and making change in the past. And there’s no issue that needs a gear change more than climate.
Through significant political lobbying, the fossil fuel industry has been a key barrier to meaningful legislation on climate change. Similarly with Tobacco, a powerful divestment campaign sought to reduce the political power of Big Tobacco and brought in science based policy on smoking.
By addressing climate risk in their own pension fund and supporting the divestment movement, MPs can show commitment and leadership on tackling the crucial issue of climate change and challenge the lobbying of the fossil fuel industry.
Many of those divesting from fossil fuels have used this opportunity to re-invest in the greener, cleaner technologies of the future. Renewable energy is a rapidly growing sector, with a $3 trillion annual funding gap to achieve the scale required for transition.
The MPs’ pension fund is their own money, but the lack of transparency over where the money is going and how members concerns are addressed is an issue across the whole pension system. By addressing these issues in their own fund, policy makers can lead the way for more responsible investment practised across the board.
For many MPs integrity is important, and being invested in companies engaging in disruptive lobbying and causing climate change will be uncomfortable. They should be able to put their money where their values are.
Concerted action to decarbonise our economy, rapid technological advances in renewable energy generation and the physical constraints on extraction in a changing environment are expected to seriously devalue oil, coal and gas assets over the coming years and decades. Over $2 trillion worth of fossil fuel assets may become ‘stranded’, presenting a major financial risk to pension holders. This position has been endorsed by leading economists and financiers, including the Governor of the Bank of England, the World Bank and the G20’s Financial Stability Board.
With decarbonisation inevitable and the renewable energy sector growing rapidly, many prudent investors are divesting from fossil fuels to protect their returns.
Preventing dangerous climate change means leaving 80% of known fossil fuel reserves in the ground. If our politicians are serious about tackling climate change, they shouldn’t be investing in them.
As the profile of stranded assets, climate risk and the fossil fuel divestment movement started to build and gain traction, a group of MPs set out to question the Parliamentary Contributions Pension Fund (PCPF) on the fossil fuel investments of their own pension and management of climate risk.
We’re looking for a dedicated Divest Parliament volunteer team of campaigners to manage and build the campaign - get involved!