On 7th October, Dudley Council will vote on a motion to divest the pension fund from fossil fuels. This important resolution will demonstrate Dudley is committed to playing its part to solve the climate crisis. It is also a really smart policy as noted in a letter to the Financial Times:
Fossil fuel-free investing is, in fact, low-risk and profitable. The financial numbers on the fossil fuel industry’s market performance no longer add up. It has lost its competitive edge. To maintain market share the oil and gas (and coal) sector flouts the rule of law, confounds fair play, ignores shareholder concerns, distorts science and frustrates political discourse. All to advance a weak economic rationale from a bygone era. The divestment movement uses protest as a political device to open a new consensus on low-carbon initiatives. Corporate boards are the battlegrounds for debate because the fossil fuel industry has succeeded in undermining the Paris Agreement and any policy proposal that runs counter to unbridled exploration and development.
We hope all the parties in Dudley MBC will join together to support this crucial motion.
On Monday the 15th July Walsall Council will debate a fossil fuel divestment motion, calling on West Midlands Pension Fund to divest from oil , coal and gas. The motion is proposed by Councillors Shires, Barker,C. Bott, P. Bott and Young.
The motion says:
Walsall Council notes reports on BBC News 12 June 2019 by Roger Harrabin Environmental Analyst that the UK Government was to commit to almost zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and Prime Minister Theresa May’s comments that:
There was a “moral duty to leave this world in a better condition than what we inherited” and that “Cutting emissions would benefit public health and cut NHS costs”.
On Tuesday 18th June, in declaring a “Climate Emergency”. This was a welcome symbolic step forward for the city. Unfortunately, Coventry failed to set out a meaningful target for climate change, as the council resolved to “recommend the course of action that we are currently undertaking”. Jim O’Boyle praised Coventry’s record on climate change, but falls in greenhouse gas emissions have been small and mostly due to rising poverty and deindustrialisation. Transport emissions remain stubbornly high, and the city’s highest source of greenhouse emissions comes from food.
Coventry needs to follow Birmingham’s lead and set out a target for net zero by at least 2030. In our proposed motion we set out a manifesto for achieving this target.
How will this be funded? Clearly government need to play their part, but the council also needs to follow Birmingham in calling for the West Midlands Pension Fund to divest from oil and gas companies that are pouring billions into exploring for more fossil fuels when they already have excessive reserves. These funds could benefit local green projects and divestment would send a strong signal to the global investment community that we cannot continue to bankroll climate destruction.
It would be a great help if you could email your local Dudley Councillor about the upcoming motion to be debated on 7th October 2019. You can find your local councillor here.
Here is a suggested email that you could send:
I am a constituent in the ………………………… ward,
I recently discovered that the West-Midlands Pension Fund, which manages the pensions of most council employees in Dudley 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 Dudley MBC to implement a ‘Responsible Investment Policy’ which rules out future investments in fossil fuel companies. The motion is being presented at Full Council on Monday 7th October .
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,
Post Code ____________________
For further information may I refer you to divestwmpf.org.
Brilliant news! On Monday 7th October , at full council, Dudley MBC will debate a fossil fuel divestment motion.
The motion raised by Labour’s Councillor Pete Lowe is the second to be raised in the West Midlands. In 2017 Birmingham City Council unanimously passed a motion calling on West Midlands Pension Fund to divest from Oil, Coal and Gas exploration and extraction companies.
The motion has been on the agenda for several full council meetings but due to time pressures has yet to be debated. It will be discussed this time as it is the first motion on the list!We need to let Dudley councillors know that Dudley backs the motion.
Please spread the word and let your councillor know you support the motion.