Help us spread the word!

Here are some suggested tweets / Facebook messages that you could post to help us spread the word…

Support BCC fossil fuel divestment motion! Information at divestwmpf.org
Tell your councillor you support BCC fossil fuel divestment motion! Information divestwmpf.org

I told my councillor I support BCC fossil fuel divestment motion. Will you? Information at divestwmpf.org
Want BCC to invest in the future, not in fossil fuels? Support the motion to divest! Information at divestwmpf.org

If you have room, you could also add one of the following hashtags:

#divestment 

#fossilfree

Tag us in your in post by including @DivestWMPF and tag Birmingham City Council by including @BhamCityCouncil

Email your Councillor

It would be a great help if you could email your local Birmingham City Councillor about the upcoming motion to be debated on 11th July 2017. You can find your local councillor here.

Here is a suggested email that you could send:

Dear ……………………………..

I am a constituent in the ………………………… ward,

I recently discovered that the West-Midlands Pension Fund, which manages the pensions of all council employees in Birmingham and the rest of the West Midlands region, has significant investments in fossil fuel companies.

I am writing to ask you to support a motion calling for these investments to end and for Birmingham City Council to implement a ‘Responsible Investment Policy’ which rules out future investments in fossil fuel companies. The motion is being presented at Full Council on Tuesday 11th July.

As well as financing these high emission industries the investments expose the pension fund to unnecessary risk. Much of the fossil fuel reserves which these companies rely on when judging their share value are ‘un-burnable’ if we are to significantly curb greenhouse gas emissions. They are stranded assets.

Given the risk posed by possible stranded assets, and more importantly the opportunity to contribute to a cleaner energy future, it no longer makes moral or financial sense to invest in the fossil fuel industry.

I look forward to your response,

Sincerely,

Post Code ____________________

For further information may I refer you to divestwmpf.org.

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

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/

Pledges

We are delighted to announce that the following May Local Election candidates in the West Midlands have pledged (or have party policy) to push for a motion to divest the West Midlands Local Government Pension Fund from damaging fossil fuel investments.

Read about the pledge.

Sandwell Candidates

Candidate Name WARD Party
ALLEN Michael Gary Abbey Green Party
MUSSI Aldo Blackheath Green Party
MACEFIELD John Dell Bristnall Green Party
CONNOR Paul William Cradley Heath and Old Hill Green Party
JOHNS Robert Owen Cradley Heath and Old Hill Lib Dem
WEBB Julie Cradley Heath and Old Hill Labour Party
WAUGH HRONCOVÀ Daniela Great Barr with Yew Tree Green Party
LACROIX Frederic Greets Green and Lyng W Green Party
TABERNER Robert Dennis Langley Ward Green Party
MANLEY-GREEN Bryan Stuart Old Warley Ward Lib Dem
WAUGH Jody Barnabas Scott Oldbury Ward Green Party
O`DELL Susan Rowley Ward Green Party
BUCKMAN Stephanie Anne Smethwick Ward Green Party
BUCKMAN Robert Graham Soho and Victoria Ward Green Party
OTTRIDGE Fabienne Marguerite St. Paul`s Ward Green Party
WILLIAMS Keir Lawrence Tividale Ward Green Party
REDDING Mark Nicholas Wednesbury North Ward Green Party
OTTRIDGE Ryan Santi West Bromwich Central Ward Green Party

Wolverhampton Candidates

Candidate Name WARD Party
HANCOX Terry Bilston North Green Party
AULAKH Sera Singh Blakenhall The Conservative Party
WEBSTER Michelle Bushbury North Green Party
MURRAY David Ettingshall Lib Dem
BERTAUT Amy Jennifer Graiseley Green Party
JENKINS Ian Clive Oxley Lib Dem Focus Team
TUDOR Helen Oxley Green Party
BELCHER David Park Green Party
ARNOLD Rachel St Peters Green Party
WOOD Clive Tettenhall Regis Green Party
CANTRILL Andrea Louise Tettenhall Wightwick Green Party
HARRIS Lee Wednesfield North Green Party
ROCHE Zak Wednesfield South Green Party

Dudley Candidates

Candidate Name WARD Party
FLYNN Ian Amblecote Lib Dem Focus Team
MCCOMISH Bill Belle Vale Green Party
ELCOCK Gordon Christopher Brierley Hill Green Party
BRAMALL Clare Louise Rayment Brockmoor & Pensnett Lib Dem
PRIEST Ryan Castle & Priory Lib Dem
MAGUIRE Catherine Mary Coseley East Green Party
ARCHER Pam Cradley & Wollescote Green Party
BARLOW Mitch Gornal Green Party
BRAMALL Lois Angela Celestine Halesowen North Lib Dem
CAMPBELL Derek Alan Halesowen South Lib Dem
PAYNE John Hayley Green & Cradley South Green Party
BRAMALL Jonathan Michael Kingswinford North & Wall Heath Lib Dem
BRADLEY Taryn Zoe Kingswinford South Green Party
GRIFFITHS Jay Liam Daren Kingswinford South Labour Party
HARLEY Patrick Kingswinford South The Conservative Party
AHMED Naz Lye & Stourbridge North Green Party
LOWE Pete Lye & Stourbridge North Labour Party
RUFF Thomas George Lye & Stourbridge North The Conservative Party
WRIGHT Alex Netherton, Woodside & St Andrew`s Green Party
BRAMALL Christopher Ashley Norton Lib Dem
HANSON Simon Paul Pedmore & Stourbridge East Lib Dem
BARNETT Chris Quarry Bank & Dudley Wood Labour Party
TAYLOR Lee James Quarry Bank & Dudley Wood Lib Dem
SHEPPARD Elaine Catherine Sedgley Lib Dem
FRANCE Benjamin St James`s Lib Dem
SHEPPARD Francis John St Thomas`s Green Party
WALTHO Steve St Thomas`s Labour Party
RICHARDS Kelly Joanne Upper Gornal & Woodsetton Green Party
FOSTER Harriet Caroline Wollaston & Stourbridge Town Labour Party
MOHR Andi Wollaston & Stourbridge Town Green Party
SHEPPARD David John Wordsley Lib Dem

 

Solihull Candidates

Candidate Name WARD Party
CAUDWELL Stephen Alexander Bickenhill Green Party
HODGSON Jo Blythe Green Party
BUXTON-SAIT Cheryl Ann Castle Bromwich Green Party
BURN James Philip Richard Chelmsley Wood Green Party
MCINTYRE Iona Elizabeth Jean Dorridge and Hockley Heath Green Party
LINFIELD Carol Joy Kingshurst and Fordbridge Green Party
WILSON Alison Natasha Knowle Green Party
PEARSON Mark Joseph Meriden Green Party
WINDMILL John Anthony Olton Lib Dem
ALDWORTH Eleanor Joy Shirley East Green Party
HODGSON Andy Shirley South Green Party
HODGSON Tim Shirley West Green Party
BARKER Trevor John Silhill Green Party
GROOM Ben Smith`s Wood Green Party
RYAN Maggie St. Alphege Green Party

Coventry Candidates

Candidate Name WARD Party
SIMPSON Peter Bablake Lib Dem
CHALLENOR Tina Michele Binley and Willenhall Green Party
REDDING Scott Gordon Bablake Green Party
TTOOULI George Cheylesmore Green Party
WATTEBOT Cathy Earlsdon Green Party
PRIESTLEY David Neil Foleshill Green Party
HANDLEY Matthew Stephen Henley Green Party
GRAY Stephen Robert George Holbrook Green Party
SMITH Katie Rose Longford Green Party
REEVES Esther Mary Lower Stoke Green Party
SPRIDDLE Jules Radford Green Party
WEBB Niall Sherbourne Green Party
CHALLENOR Aimee St Michael`s Green Party
VESTY Laura Katherine Upper Stoke Green Party
MCAVOYBOSS Joe Wainbody Green Party
MARSHALL Jess Westwood Green Party
PATTERSON Anne Whoberley Green Party
SINGH Bally Whoberley Labour Party
LLOYD Gavin John Woodlands Labour and Cooperative Party
WARREN Joy Annette Woodlands Green Party
BROWN Chrissie Lynn Wyken Green Party

Walsall Candidates

Candidate Name WARD Party
MCKENZIE Shaun Alardice Blakenhall Green Party
MARTIN Timothy James Brownhills Green Party
ALLEN Liam Craig Rushall-Shelfield Green Party
LAWS Sue Rushall-Shelfield Labour Party
BROWN Carl David Short Heath Labour Party
WEBSTER Susan Elizabeth St Matthews Green Party

The Pledge

It’s time for the West Midlands to stop investing in the climate crisis.

Divest WMPF is a campaign group which wants to stop the West Midlands local government pension fund investing in oil, coal and gas. We are asking all candidates standing in the local elections to sign our Pledge. We plan to publicise all the responses we receive on our website, in social media and via local press.

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”

The West Midlands Pension Fund currently invests £490 million in fossil fuels compared to £393 million three years ago. The pledge is asking you to support the call for your council to back divestment – removing the pension fund’s money from oil, coal and gas and reinvesting it to support transition to a low carbon future. Examples of local reinvestment opportunities are housing, energy efficiency, low carbon technology and infrastructure such as decentralised energy solutions.

In the West Midlands in July 2017 Birmingham City Council unanimously passed a motion backing this call. We hope 2018 will bring further backing from across the West Midlands and if elected your support as a Councillor would play an important part in making this happen.

Why should West Midlands Pension Fund divest?

It is scientifically proven that burning fossil fuels is causing climate change. If we are to keep to the internationally agreed target of 2 degrees of warming most known reserves of coal, oil and gas will need to remain underground. The companies that are still looking for new reserves of fossil fuels now represent a risky long term investment. If we succeed in averting catastrophic climate change then they will be left with stranded assets in the form of vast amounts of fossil fuels that can never be burned.

In 2017 the call for divestment received increasing support nationally and internationally and over 100 MPs across all political parties have backed the call for their pension fund to divest from fossil fuels. More recently New York City has committed to divest its pension fund from fossil fuels.

Take Action

Tweet or post on Facebook (sharing buttons are below):

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

Send the pledge to us at divestwmpf@gmail.com

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.