25 signatures reached
To: Highland Council
Divest from fossil fuels
4.6% of Highland Council’s Pension Fund (£92 million) is currently invested in oil, gas and coal companies. The Council should divest (remove their investment, and re-invest elsewhere) and instead could be investing locally in green jobs, social housing and renewable energy as we face growing environmental and economic challenges.
Why is this important?
Globally, more than 800 investors with combined assets of $6 trillion USD have already made commitments to divest from fossil fuels.
We have the opportunity for Highland to be the first Local Authority in Scotland to divest from fossil fuels! Six other UK Local Government pension funds have already done so.
By investing in fossil fuel extraction, Highland Council are profiting from climate change. As public bodies, local governments have a responsibility to work for the public good; they shouldn’t be financially and politically supporting the most destructive industry on the planet. Fossil fuel investments undermine Highland Council’s own climate change strategies, as well as our national and international commitments.
£2.3 million of the Highland Council's Pension Fund is invested in BHP Billiton, the 12th largest extractor of coal in the world. They are currently mining in the centre of the Borneo rainforest and facing prosecution over Brazil's worst ever environmental disaster.
They also have £12.6 million invested in Shell, who have paid millions of dollars in fines over their oil operations in Nigeria, are threatening to drill in the Arctic and are involved in shale gas fracking in the US (a process banned in Scotland).
What could change look like?
We are in the midst of a housing crisis, youth unemployment is high and inequality is rising. New technologies like electric cars, wave power and floating wind can bring green jobs to our communities, whilst investment in green housing and insulation could house millions and cut fuel poverty. Council pension funds can back this change by shunning fossil fuels and investing locally in green jobs, social housing and renewable energy.
By divesting from fossil fuels, Highland Council, together with other public and financial institutions, can collectively help fund a more sustainable future for the people of Highland and around the world.
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