December 7, 2016

London Assembly calls on Mayor to set out fossil fuel divestment plan

Divest London with Assembly Members after passing the motion at City Hall

Divest London with Assembly Members after passing the motion at City Hall

London, UK – The London Assembly today passed a motion renewing their call to the Mayor Sadiq Khan to divest the London Pension Fund Authority (LPFA) from fossil fuels.

The motion – drawn up by campaigning group Divest London and proposed by Labour Assembly Member Leonie Cooper – demands that the Mayor issue a public statement calling on the London Pension Fund Authority to commit to the full divestment of its fossil fuel stocks, and lay out a concrete plan for its implementation.[1]

The campaign to divest the LPFA enjoys broad political backing in the capital. It was supported by 2016 mayoral candidates from all the major political parties, and Sadiq Khan in his election manifesto promised to ‘take all possible steps to divest the London Pension Fund Authority of its remaining investments in fossil-fuel industries.’[2]

Today’s renewed motion, which passed by 14 votes to 4, also comes two months after the London Borough of Waltham Forest became the first UK local government pension fund to commit to divesting from fossil fuels in September 2016. [3]

Leonie Cooper, Chair of the GLA Environment Committee and Labour London Assembly Member, said:

“The motion today sets out a way for London to divest its remaining fossil fuel assets in the London Pension Fund Authority.  The global divestment movement has seen great success and it’s time London stepped up and fully divested. The Mayor has made great strides on environmental policy since coming to office, with measures to clean up our toxic air and combat cold homes. The Mayor has a clear manifesto commitment to divestment and I look forward to working with him to make this a reality.”

Martin Watters, a spokesperson from Divest London commented:

“Our democratically elected representatives have made a clear statement today: London must cut ties with a fossil fuel industry that is driving climate change and exposing our city to huge financial and environmental risks.”

“Sadiq Khan made the right move by backing fossil fuel divestment as part of his election manifesto. Since taking office, he’s made steps to tackle London’s dirty air and now it’s time for the dirty investments. London needs to step up and join other climate leading cities like Berlin, Washington DC, Paris and others in divesting.”

The LPFA manages the pensions of nearly 80,000 Londoners and invests over £50 million in the fossil fuel industry, both through direct holdings in companies like Shell, BP and Rio Tinto, and through investment in pooled funds. Across the UK, local government controlled pension funds invest over £14 billion in fossil fuels [4].

Divest London is part of a global campaign to get public institutions and pension funds to divest from fossil fuels. So far globally funds worth more than $3.4 trillion have made divestment commitments, including more than 50 pension funds and 70 cities and states [5].

NOTES:

  1. See motion text here: https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/assembly/renewed-call-for-pension-divestment-commitment Full webcast is available here: https://www.london.gov.uk/london-assembly-plenary-2016-12-07
  2. See manifesto here: http://www.sadiq.london/a_greener_cleaner_london
  3. See http://www.localgov.co.uk/London-council-to-divest-pension-from-fossil-fuels/41712
  4. To view the full data set, go to: http://gofossilfree.org/uk/pensions/
  5. To view all the global commitments, go to: http://gofossilfree.org/commitments/
  6. For more information on the Divest London campaign, see their petition http://campaigns.gofossilfree.org/petitions/divest-city-hall-from-fossil-fuel-investments and visit the website: http://divestlondon.org/

CONTACT:

– For Leonie Cooper, Chair of GLA Environment Committee, please contact Mary Dolan on 020 7983 4603.

– Divest London spokespeople Gabriel Davalos 07472193034, Martin Watters 07432107787 divestlondon@gmail.com

For immediate release: 7 December 2016

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