How would you invest £490 million to improve your local area?

Your pension could build a better future for your children: here’s how. 

The West Midlands LGPS Pension fund currently has over £490 million invested in the oil, coal and gas industries, who are driving the climate change that’s threatening all of our futures. It’s our money, we’ve worked and saved for it, it’s our retirement plans. And it’s our planet that we, our children and grandchildren have to live on. 

Why should we accept a scenario where “planetary survival is pitted against pensioners’ future income”? No-one needs to choose between their retirement and their children and grandchildren’s futures – there’s another way to do this. 

We need to move beyond just taking pension money out of fossil fuel companies and putting it into slightly less damaging alternatives and start actively using our money to build the future we want together. The solution is to take back the money we have produced, and start investing it in building community-owned and run alternatives. This allows us to have more of a say in what types of green future we want to see in our communities, to create local jobs and address local concerns such as fuel poverty. We could invest in community-owned renewable energy, infrastructure such as trams, community-supported agriculture to produce healthy local food, or better social housing – the possibilities are huge. 

This has already started to happen elsewhere. Lancashire pension fund has invested in Westmill Solar Cooperative, which produces enough power to run 1600 homes. And Islington council has invested £150 million from its pension in building social housing

This is why Divest West Midlands is calling on the West Midlands Pension fund to divest from fossil fuels and start reinvesting in building the new green economy. 

What would you like to see your pension fund money doing locally? 

Look out for our report coming soon that covers the technical issues in more detail. 

Further resources: 

Platform’s paper Energy Beyond Neoliberalism

Community Reinvest’s report on Reinvesting Pension Funds

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