Birmingham has voted to divest. Will Coventry be next?

Today at the Rise for Climate event in Coventry it was inspiring to see and hear how people are saying a decisive “No!” to the local government’s decision to invest £490 million of pension money in fossil fuels.

So many people were willing to be photographed and videoed demanding action from Coventry council. It is quite clear: Coventry has had enough. It is time for the council to stop investing in fossil fuels and move the money to companies which are serious about achieving the 2.0 degree Paris Agreement by completely rejecting fossil fuel extaction.

To all the people who attended the event, who gave their time to pitch in and help and stand up for positive action on climate change I want to say a huge thank you. Please get in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter or at divestwmpf@gmail.com.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Power Trip

In the fight against climate change Divest WMPF are screening Powertrip: Fracking in the UK, a powerful film that takes you to the frontline of resistance against fracking. The screening is part of a drive to build support in Coventry for the work of Divest WMPF.

Birmingham City Council recently voted unanimously to pull its Pension Fund money out of fossil fuels, thanks to the persuasive power of this campaign group .  The goal now is to build support across the West Midlands and get all six other local authorities to follow suit. If this goal is reached then £490 million of West Midlands Pension Fund money will be divested away from fossil fuels and into local renewable energy schemes, adding to the figure of $6 trillion which has already been divested by institutions across the globe.

Come to the free event, meet the team and join a campaign which is delivering rapid, global progress by striking at the heart of the financial beast!

POWER TRIP: Fracking in the UK
Tuesday, July 17th at 5:45pm – 8.00pm
Coventry Peace House, 311 Stoney Stanton Road, CV6 5DS

Summer Events

Following on from last July’s wonderful Divestment commitment from Birmingham, we contacted all candidates standing for election in May across the 6 remaining areas covered by West Midlands Pension Fund.We asked them to sign a 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”

Over 100 candidates from across the political spectrum signed including both the leader and opposition leader of Dudley Council!

We are moving forward to try to secure further Divestment commitments with a focus on Dudley , Sandwell and Coventry for now.

There are three events coming up in June and July which it would be great to see you at.

  1. We are co-hosting a workshop with Divest Parliament in Stourbridge on Saturday 16th June: https://www.facebook.com/events/639462769719176/
  2. DivestWMPF are holding a meeting in Dudley on the evening of Tuesday 26th June: https://www.facebook.com/events/1985543045107717/
  3. Divest West Midlands are holding a public meeting and film showing of the film Power Trip: Fracking in the UK on Tuesday 17th July at Coventry Peace House: https://www.facebook.com/events/616931898664389/

Birmingham Councillors unite in cross party support for divestment

With Trump left isolated at the G20, Birmingham Councillors have chosen to stand alongside prominent world leaders in tackling climate change.

On the evening of Tuesday 11th July the Birmingham Full Council debated a motion to back divestment of the Local Government Pension Fund ‘West Midlands Pension Fund’ from fossil fuels.

The motion was proposed by Councillor Roger Harmer, Lib Dem Councillor for Acocks Green following calls from regional campaign group Divest West Midlands Pension Fund. He said:

I am delighted to see Birmingham City Council councillors united in supporting divestment from fossil fuels today.

If we are to save our environment for future generations it is vital that we leave most of our coal and oil resources in the ground. It therefore makes no sense for Birmingham’s pension funds to be investing in industries based on exploiting these resources. Instead we should be investing more in low carbon technologies, which enable us to live cleaner, healthier lives.

Councillor Roger Harmer, Lib Dem Councillor for Acocks Green

The motion also called on the Council to rule out new investments in Fossil Fuels.
Kay Edwards, co-ordinator of regional campaign group Divest WMPF commented:

This is a wonderful that Birmingham City Council has shown leadership Birmingham in leading the way towards a fossil free future for the West Midlands.
We welcome commitments to press the pension fund to divest the £393 million it currently invests in coal, oil and gas companies. Instead, the West Midlands could reinvest this money into building new homes, clean renewable energy or public transport.

Kay Edwards, co-ordinator of regional campaign group Divest WMPF

Reports have shown that climate change is already, and will continue to have great impacts on our region and the world.

Divestment Motion To Be Debated

We are really excited that Birmingham City Council will be debating a motion calling on the West Midlands Pension Fund to divest from fossil Fuels.

The motion also calls on the Council to rule out new investments in Fossil Fuels. The Motion will be debated on Tuesday 11th July.

Here is the text of the motion to be debated:

Birmingham City Council recognises that:

  1. Burning fossil fuels poses a serious risk to the stability of the climate upon which our well-being and economy depend.
  2. Research demonstrates that up to 80% world’s proven fossil fuel reserves will have to remain unburnt if we are to have a reasonable chance of keeping global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius, the globally agreed target for climate change mitigation.
  3. Since 80% of fossil fuels must remain in the ground, the reserves of the fossil fuel industry risk becoming ‘stranded assets’ with little or no value – representing a substantial financial risk for those that invest in them.
  4. West Midlands Pension Fund currently has over £393 million invested in the oil, coal and gas industries. This is environmentally and financially irresponsible.
  5. To date, over 500 institutions representing over $3.4 trillion in assets have committed to divest from fossil fuel companies.

In response to this Birmingham City Council pledges to:

A) Review its Investment Strategy and develop and implement a Responsible Investment Policy, which rules out new investments in Fossil fuel companies.

B) Call on West Midlands Pension Fund to divest from fossil fuels by mandating its representative on the Pension Fund Committee to call for the development and adoption of Responsible Investment policies which:

  1. Immediately freeze any new investment in the top 200 publicly-

    traded fossil fuel companies;

  2. Divest from direct ownership and any commingled funds that include fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds within 5 years;
  3. Set out an approach to quantifying and addressing climate change risks affecting all other investments, and
  4. Focus future investments on areas that minimise climate change risk.

Proposed by Cllr Roger Harmer
Seconded by Cllr Jon Hunt