We need to keep fossil fuels in the ground to avert a climate crisis. If it’s wrong to wreck the climate, it’s wrong to profit from that wreckage.
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DivestWMPF is a group of volunteers campaigning for the West Midlands pension fund to divest from fossil fuels and invest in clean energy and local, socially positive investments.
West Midlands Pensions Fund invests an estimated £320 million in dirty fossil fuels which are driving the climate crisis and endangering the very future local people are saving for. Wildfires ravaging the western United States, Bangladesh drowning and Siberia experiencing a 38C heat wave all show the destructive power of fossil fuels to destroy the stable climate system all humans depend on. Summer 2021 has given people around the world a foretaste of the distopian future if fossil fuel companies continue as they are.
Yet despite the bleak outlook for the fossil fuel industry jeopardising investment returns, and despite the industry continuing to fight climate policy and block the transition, WMPF still refuse to divest, favouring a failed strategy of engaging with the polluters.
Councillor Reynolds suggested in the June 2020 Pensions Committee meeting that divestment could happen, but would take a long time. We ask: if not now, when? Only ten years remain to cut global greenhouse gas emissions by half. This requires 7% annual reductions. Instead of funding companies that continue to drill, WMPF should invest in the green revolution and divest from fossil fuels starting now.
Please email your local member or members of the Pensions Committee to show your support for divestment.
More about us
Divest West Midlands is part of the growing international divestment mission coordinated by Fossil Free calling for organisations, institutions and individuals to demonstrate moral leadership and end their break their ties with the fossil fuel industry.
What are we asking for?
We are asking the West Midlands Pension Fund (WMPF) to divest their at least £320 million of holdings in the fossil fuel industry and reinvest this money into clean energy and local socially positive investments.
Why is it important?
To stop catastrophic climate change we have to keep fossil fuels in the ground and transition quickly towards a clean renewable economy.
As well as ethical and security grounds for divestment, there are strong financial grounds for taking action, given the increasing risks posed by holding high-carbon investments.
Therefore, it is irresponsible to be invested in fossil fuel companies.
Will it really make a difference?
The aim of the divestment campaign is to weaken the political influence of the fossil fuel industry, which keeps holding back action on climate change. The fossil fuel divestment movement is the fastest growing divestment movement the world has ever seen, with more and more organisations committing to divest every day. With your help, WMPF could be the next!
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Why should WMPF divest from fossil fuels?
WMPF is the pension fund for councillors and local government workers, covering the seven local authorities in the West Midlands region. We believe the since the council has a duty of care for the residents of the West Midlands, it should lead the way in switching its investment portfolio to companies which are not contributing to the climate crisis. WMPF claims to be a responsible investor by trying to persuade the companies in which it invests to meet the Paris Agreement to limit global heating. However in our 2018 report, The Fossil Fuel Five we show that despite claiming otherwise, the majors are not taking the climate crisis seriously: not investing meaningfully in clean energy; lobbying against change; planning for increases in production. Talking to the companies is not working. It is time to divest and put the money to work funding the transition to a renewable economy.
How can I get more involved?
There are many ways you can get involved in the campaign, whether you have very little time, or want to get more committed: