MPs launch campaign to divest pension fund from fossil fuels

A cross-party group of MPs are calling for the Parliamentary Pension Fund to be divested from fossil fuels. They have launched the ‘Divest Parliament’ campaign alongside environmental group 350.org, asking […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

A cross-party group of MPs are calling for the Parliamentary Pension Fund to be divested from fossil fuels.

They have launched the ‘Divest Parliament’ campaign alongside environmental group 350.org, asking for greater transparency on the Parliamentary Pension Fund’s £589 million investments and demanding a commitment to divest from fossil fuels to tackle climate change.

They add more than 35 current and former MPs, including Caroline Lucas from the Green Party and Barry Gardiner from the Labour Party, have been calling for the Parliamentary Pension Fund to disclose its exposure to high carbon investments since 2014.

Other MPs who are part of the campaign are former Conservative member Laura Sandys and Liz Saville-Roberts from Plaid Cymru.

Ms Lucas, Co-Leader of the Green Party said: “Climate change is the defining issue of our time and we are already seeing its devastating impacts across the world. MPs should be showing leadership on this issue so it’s deeply concerning that our pension fund is supporting an industry that is fuelling the climate crisis.

“I don’t want my pension savings invested in dirty energy – instead, we should be supporting the transition to a fossil fuel free future.”

Mr Gardiner, Labour’s Shadow Minister for International Climate Change added it is about making the right financial decision and “not taking stupid risks with public money”.

He said: “The global transition to a future powered by clean energy is inevitable and irreversible. It is clearer than ever that investments in fossil fuels and high-carbon assets carry high financial risk – yet the very trustees who are supposed to be guardians of probity and good practise refuse to examine whether MP’s own pensions are exposed.

“MPs should be setting the gold standard for responsible investment and climate risk-management. We need transparency and clarity – the very things that as MPs we constantly demand of others. If we have that we can perhaps stop public money being wasted.”