Pledge to Support Divestment

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

DivestWMPF is a campaign group to stop the West Midlands local government pension fund (WMPF) investing in oil, coal and gas. We are asking all councillors and candidates standing in 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 invests 6.9% of equities in fossil fuels. This is being used to fund new oil, gas and coal infrastructure which is driving climate breakdown. 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.

Birmingham City Council and Dudley MBC have voted for divestment. Wolverhampton Council has declared a climate emergency. We believe that in 2021, the Fund should officially take a stance of divestment from fossil fuels and urgently produce a plan for existing the industry. Councillors have a key role in pressuring the Pensions Committee to divest.

Why should West Midlands Pension Fund divest?

It is scientifically proven that burning fossil fuels is causing climate breakdown. If we are to keep to the internationally agreed aim of preferably 1.5°C of warming, most known reserves of coal, oil and gas will need to remain in the ground. The companies that are still looking for new reserves of fossil fuels now represent a risky long term investment. If humanity succeeds 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. This will be reflected in share prices.

The Fund is hoping that by engaging with the industry, it can persuade the polluters to transform into renewables companies. There is very little evidence that the industry intends to change in the critical timescales demanded by the science. These companies are pressing on with plans that condemn humanity’s life support systems to irreversible damage beyond 1.5°C of warming. The financial and existential risks are simply too great, and the potential rewards too speculative and modest to continue holding fossil fuel investments.

To find out more read Fossil Fuel Divestment: A Plea for the Future.

Take Action

We ask Councillors, candidates and other local politicians to sign the pledge here:

“I support the divestment of our local government pension fund from fossil fuels, and reinvestment locally to support transition to a low carbon future”

Now tweet @divestwmpf or post on Facebook using the sharing buttons 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