Rowan Williams calls for local pension fund to divest from fossil fuels

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams has called for West Midlands Pension Fund (WMPF) to divest from fossil fuels, saying the local government pension is “investing in history”.

Backing was received from Dr Williams following discussions with DivestWMPF.

Dr Williams, who has been outspoken in the need for strong action on climate breakdown, said:

“I’m very happy indeed to support the campaign for the West Midlands Pension Fund to divest from fossil fuels”. Dr Rowan Williams

It is wrong for West Midlands Pension Fund to profit from climate and environmental destruction. Following on from the declaration of climate and environmental emergency in Parliament, it is time for WMPF to ditch fossil fuels and invest in the future.

UN scientists have warned that by 2030, carbon dioxide emissions from burning these fuels must be reduced by 45% to avoid catastrophic effects such as rising seas and loss of all coral reefs.

West Midlands Pension Fund is the local government pension fund for Dudley, Coventry, Sandwell, Wolverhampton, Solihull, Walsall and Birmingham. It invests £490 million in companies which extract oil, coal and gas. In July 2017 Birmingham City Council unanimously passed a motion backing the call for divestment.

In the lead up to the May 2019 Local Elections over 100 candidates from across Dudley, Coventry, Sandwell, Wolverhampton, Solihull and Walsall and across party borders backed the pledge: “I support the divestment of our local government pension fund from fossil fuels, and reinvestment locally to support transition to a low carbon future”

DivestWMPF is part of the growing international divestment mission coordinated by Fossil Free calling for organisations, institutions and individuals to demonstrate moral leadership and break their ties with the fossil fuel industry.

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