Jane Thewlis, West Yorkshire Pension Fund member and divestment campaigner, said:
“Our pensions are investing in the companies responsible for the climate crisis. This flies in the face of the Paris Agreement, and of all the efforts being made locally to reduce emissions and combat climate change. It’s time to divest.”
George Guivalu Nacewa, Fiji Climate Warrior attending the COP23 talks in Bonn, said:
“In the Pacific, the impacts of climate change are not a debate, it is our reality. We need to keep fossil fuels in the ground. We no longer have time to talk. Now is the time to act.”
Friends of the Earth divestment campaigner Deirdre Duff said:
“It’s astonishing that councils across the UK are continuing to invest vast sums of money in climate-wrecking fossil fuels through their pension funds. With urgent action needed to tackle the climate change crisis our local authorities should be doing far more on this issue.
“Council pension funds should pull their cash out of coal, gas and oil and invest in the new technologies that are already helping to build a cleaner, safer future.”
Platform campaigner Sarah Shoraka said:
“Local councils are gambling with our future. By continuing to heavily invest in companies like BP and Shell, local authorities are risking the future of our pensions and our climate.
“Council pension funds have an opportunity to invest instead in things communities really need: affordable housing, public transport, and publicly owned renewable energy. Councils must divest to secure pensions and invest in our future.”
Ellen Gibson, Divestment Campaigner with 350.org, said:
“With hurricanes devastating the Caribbean, wildfires ravaging southern Europe and flooding and drought destroying lives across the world – the impacts of climate change are hitting hard. Despite this, UK councils are still plowing billions into companies like Exxon, Shell and BP who have spent decades fuelling the crisis, and profiting on its back.
“Climate change isn’t a problem for future generations – it’s happening now, and action has never been more urgent. Our councils, and all public institutions, must cut their ties with the fossil fuel companies responsible and divest.”
Ric Lander, Friends of the Earth Scotland Divestment Campaigner, said:
“Scotland’s councils are ignoring the realities of climate change. Their investments in deeply destructive fossil fuel companies fly in the face of Scotland’s wider efforts to phase out fossil fuel cars and ban fracking.
“Fossil fuel companies won’t be talked into dropping their core business of digging oil, gas and coal out of the ground. Councillors who oversee these funds need to take action to make their pension funds compatible with a future worth living in by divesting.”
Stephen Smellie, Deputy Convenor in UNISON Scotland and National Executive Committee member for UNISON, says:
“Our priority always needs to be to ensure our member’s pensions are protected. We are increasingly aware that investments in fossil fuels are not only harmful to the environment but put the sustainable future of our pensions at risk.
“We have made progress with a few pension funds taking the steps towards divestment. We need to wake the rest up before our pensions are put at risk with investments that will lose value as governments take steps to reduce the use of fossil fuels.”