March 8, 2017

Campaigners stage oil spill outside London City Hall against pipeline investments



LONDON — Campaign groups Sacred Stone Camp UK Solidarity Network and Divest London created a symbolic oil spill outside of City Hall today in protest at investments in companies behind destructive pipeline projects in North America, including the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) backed by Donald Trump. The protest occurs just before the London Assembly, and two days before a larger ‘Native Nations’ march in Washington, DC on March 10th.

London Assembly members joined dozens of members of the public in writing messages of solidarity to Water Protectors resisting the construction of DAPL in the USA.

The £4.6 billion pension fund, managed by the London Pension Fund Authority (LPFA) on behalf of thousands of workers across the capital, recently revealed its full holdings which include investments in coal, tar sands, fracking, oil and pipeline projects.

During his 2015 election campaign, Sadiq Khan promised to divest the fund of its remaining investments in fossil fuel industries. The pledge remains unfulfilled, despite the London Assembly passing a motion last December calling on City Hall and the LPFA to fully divest.

Divest London campaigner Chelsea Edwards said:

“In August 2015 Sadiq Khan’s ‘greener, cleaner’ election pledge to divest from fossil fuels was applauded, especially by the London Assembly who have passed motions two years running to fully divest City Hall’s £4.5 billion fund. Yet nine months since he took office the London Pension Fund still props up the companies profiting most from catastrophic climate change.”

“Mayor Khan is to be congratulated for his disapproval of Trump’s ‘Muslim ban’ and the President’s state visit to the UK. But now it’s time for him to honour his election pledge to divest from all dirty fossil fuels and ensure our pensions aren’t funding the U.S.’s internationally condemned oil projects.”

Co-director of the UK Tar Sands Network Suzanne Dhaliwal added:

“It is essential that London show global leadership and divest now from the Dakota Access Pipeline to set an example that we cannot continue to fund projects that devastate indigenous rights and push us further into climate chaos. With Trump and Trudeau hell bent on pushing forward with tar sands expansion and associated pipelines, our collective action lies in stopping capital flowing from London.”

Eriel Deranger of Indigenous Climate Action stated:

“Indigenous communities in Alberta’s tar sands and North Dakota have been calling for action to end unsanctioned expansion in our territories. Divestment from tar sands, fracking, coal and dirty fossil fuels that violate the rights of Indigenous peoples and exacerbate climate change will ensure these projects become energy economies of the past.”

Companies directly funded from the London Pension Fund include:

  • Energy Transfer Partners, ConocoPhilips and Marathon Petroleum – companies behind the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, condemned by Native American groups for threatening water supplies and sacred land.
  • The Energy & Minerals Group, a multi-billion financier of US fracking ventures, including those of “fracking king” Aubrey McClendon, who died a day after being indicted by a federal US court on charges of conspiring to rig oil and gas bids.
  • North America’s largest pipeline company, Kinder Morgan, the world’s biggest oilfield services firm Schlumberger, and oil sands company Suncor, which produces some of the dirtiest oil in the world.
  • Oil giants Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil, Gazprom, Petrobras, Total, BP as well as gas giant Chevron and coal giants Rio Tinto, Glencore, BHP-Billiton and Vale.

Media contact: Phil MacDonald +44 (0)7547 521346

Divest London is a grassroots citizens’ movement pushing institutions across the capital to divest from fossil fuels. They are part of the global Fossil Free divestment movement. Divest London is urging for London to join cities such as Berlin, Sydney, Oslo, Toronto, San Francisco, Seattle, Melbourne as well as the 689 institutions in 76 countries which make up the global divestment movement.