Pension Fund is risking climate breakdown to chase financial gain

Nottinghamshire Local Government Pension Fund is risking climate breakdown to chase financial gain.

The Pension Fund Committee, made up of councillors from the County Council, take advice from their regional fund LGPS Central. The ‘LGPS Climate Risk Analysis Report’ was presented at the meeting and officer Tasmin Rabbits said…

“Broadly, the report is supportive of the Fund’s current investment strategy, in that it demonstrates that a 2°C scenario is of benefit to the pension fund financially, which means that the Fund’s financial interests are aligned with global environmental interests.”

 

The chair of the committee Councillor Eric Kerry then said that it was  “pleasing to find we are doing well in reaction to climate risk and we always look to do more”

The Divestment group of Extinction Rebellion Nottingham would like to tackle some glaring issues with this position and point to XR’s first demand is “Tell the Truth”. Before this can can happen the people holding the power have to understand the truth.

2°C is not something anyone sensible would be aiming for.

1.5°C is extremely dangerous for humans and all other living systems, but 2°C is catastrophic. The difference of half a degree is huge

The 2018 update to the United Nations IPPC report states the urgency of staying below 1.5°C

2°C is likely to cause …

  • 22% of the world’s cities will become unbearable to live in
  • Temperature increases will not be uniform around the world – in many areas of the world extreme temperatures will become more common.
  • Up to 79 million people will be at risk of flooding.
  • Thawing permafrost, leading to the release of the potent greenhouse methane, increasing global heating even faster.  
  • Fires and floods will become ever more frequent. 
  • Food production will be disrupted on a major scale
  • Near total loss of the world’s coral destroying the world’s richest marine habitat.

The pandemic is something very tangible for us right now and Covid-19 brings both danger and restrictions to our lives. The destruction and on-going pressures to the ecosystem are causing habitat loss and are now widely accepted to be the underlying cause of the emergence of Covid-19.

In 2015, with the Paris Climate Agreement, nations around the world set themselves the goal of limiting global warming to well below 2°C (preferably 1.5°C) compared to pre-industrial levels.
 

flooding in bangladesh
fire in Siberia
arctic ice melting

Carbon Budget

The atmosphere can absorb no more than 420 gigatonnes (Gt) of CO2 if we are to try to stay below the 1.5°C threshold. Since around 42 Gt of CO2 is emitted globally every year, this entire budget will be used up within this decade, unless we act rapidly and decisively. 

Currently the world is on track for 3-4°C of heating without bold and systemic world-wide change to tackle the problem. 

Call to action

It is naïve of the Pension Committee to embrace a target of 2°C of global heating and it appears this decision was based merely on potential financial gains.

It is negligent and immoral to condemn future generations to a miserable and impoverished existence by not following the science

We have to meet our energy needs without burning fuels and many experts have shown that this is feasible.

Investments in sustainable funds are now recognised as more secure with higher future returns than fossil fuel investments.

Once again…. Extinction Rebellion Nottingham calls on the Pension Fund Committee to DIVEST from FOSSIL FUEL investments in the most speedily way possible.


Find out more about the XR Nottingham Divestment group.

Inaction = Death

On Thursday June 25th the Committee on Climate Change, the Government’s official climate advisors, released their report detailing what progress has been made one year on from the adoption of the target to reach net zero emissions by 2050. The report reveals a staggering lack of progress, with only four of the 21 indicators on track and two of 31 milestones reached on the road to net zero emissions. 

In full expectation of this alarming report and lack of response from the government, we marched through Nottingham city centre to deliver letters to our local MPs. We asked them to Tell The Truth and publicly speak out on the governments inaction.

Our letter to Mps

response from just the three nottingham city mps

Action at County Hall Sat 30th May

We are at a major turning point in human history.
During Covid-19, the government has failed the public – they have shown they are not capable or willing to keep us safe. Again they have not listened to the science and didn’t prepare for the inevitable…just as for another crisis, an even bigger one, The Climate and Ecological Emergency, which is continuing to intensify as we speak.

In this pandemic we’ve seen the systems we have in place are not designed to support the majority of people or the life of our planet. That the government isn’t capable of getting us out of the coronavirus mess, they just want to get us back to “normal” as rapidly as possible. A normal that’s killing us, prioritising profit over our lives and the natural world that sustains us.

But we’ve seen what’s POSSIBLE when the political will is there. Everything CAN change. And we’ve seen how, when given the chance, ordinary people can rise to it, naturally kind, caring and committed to helping one another. It’s time to start a new story one of compassion, community, and care.

To pool our skills and knowledge and have the chance to decide together, how we should live, how we should prepare for future crises, and how to mitigate the worst of the climate and ecological emergency. We are sending a message to Government to demand a binding Citizens Assembly NOW on the recovery from Covid19, to decide how to rebuild our economy, our democracy and our future together.

 

FIND OUT MORE HERE

In the press…
28th May : West Bridgford Wire

30th May : West Bridgford Wire

 

 

No Going Back – Sundays

As we inch our way out of lockdown, we all know we can’t go back to normal. We can’t just go back to a system that puts profit before people and the environment – we have seen the cleaner air, heard the birdsong, felt the community spirit and fully appreciated the key-workers that we all rely on.

We have learnt that there actually is a magic money tree, that it’s a question of political will how it’s spent – there’s nothing inevitable about how the economy is run.

We need a new normal.

As we inch our way out of lockdown, XR are emerging too. This is only the start of our renewed campaigning

Images from 17th and 24th May 2020 : Part of the #NoGoingBack social-distanced action.

Nottingham post Article

Open letter to Pension Fund Committee

Open letter to Nottinghamshire Pension Fund: Invest to enhance well-being

Dear Committee Members,

We are writing on behalf of Extinction Rebellion Nottingham’s fossil fuel divestment campaign. We would like to begin by expressing our very strong hope that all of you and your families are well.

The Covid-19 pandemic is causing very great suffering and hardship in the UK and globally. We know it has created many issues for pension funds due to stock market falls. We would like to thank Committee members and County Council Officers for your stewardship of the Fund in this very difficult time.

Alongside urgent pandemic concerns and priorities, the climate and ecological emergency continues to advance. While environmental damage and extreme weather events have mostly been absent from mainstream media recently, they continue around the world.

The climate and ecological emergency represents an even more fundamental and enduring crisis than the current pandemic. It is a global disaster in slow motion, which has already begun, but which can – with the right decisions made now – be halted.

We are seeing in the response to the Covid-19 crisis at government, corporate and community levels that we value life and well-being above all else, and that action will be taken to protect it.

The Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, Dr Fatih Birol, has called for government stimulus spending in response to Covid-19 to address the climate emergency by focusing on clean energy, energy efficiency and electricity network improvements[1].

We call on the Pension Fund to play its part in addressing the emergency, protect life and enhance well-being by increasing equity investments in companies working in these areas.

We applaud your investments in green infrastructure to date, and ask that they also be increased to enhance renewable energy generation, transmission and storage.

Equally, divesting from fossil fuel companies which are every day making the emergency more severe would be a positive step in itself and free up extra capital for sustainable investments.

This makes investment sense. Clean energy and its associated industries represent predictable returns and massive future growth.

By contrast, the fossil fuel industry is in long-term decline. This decline will be characterised by ongoing volatility affecting oil, gas and share prices as demand shrinks and producing nations and companies compete to out-supply each other. Any short-term cooperation between producer nations will inevitably break when individual countries decide it is time to ‘cash-out’ while a market still exists.

We are delighted to hear that Legal & General Investment Management has announced the creation of a fossil free fund, in response to client demand. We know that Nottinghamshire Pension Fund aspires to be at the forefront of responsible investment, and accordingly expect that the approximately £1.5bn under LGIM management will be moved into the new fund when it is launched. We hope that the Committee will be discussing this as soon meetings are able to resume.

Many thanks for your time and your ongoing work.

Yours sincerely,

Members of the Divestment Working Group

Extinction Rebellion Nottingham

[1] https://www.iea.org/commentaries/how-to-make-the-economic-recovery-from-coronavirus-an-environmentally-sustainable-one

A week of ‘Money Talks’ on Reset TV

Our economic system is hardwired for ecological destruction. Its deep fragility is being exposed by the Covid crisis, and our public money is being used to bailout the mess. We deserve better, we deserve an economic system that prioritises care for people and the planet. Join us for a week exploring why we are in this mess and what the movement can do to help steer us in a positive direction.

Catch up with these talks

The program ran throughout a week in April but now you can watch all on Youtube
Click here for youtube listings

Monday
No going back
Heading for Financial Extinction
Boardroom Rebellion

Tuesday
ABC of finance
Power of Finance Campaigning
Understanding Economics

Wednesday
HSBC’s Fossil Business
Barclays’ Fossil Business
Carbon Zero

Thursday
Standard Chartered’ Fossil Business
Moving Banks to Adopt New Policies
Money Actions Webinar

Friday
How The French Won Their Banks Over Before COP
Digital Campaigning on Banks
Beyond Growth: A New Narrative

Also a podcast available 
Extinction Rebellion Podcast Episode 9
XR takes on the Finance Sector

New online meetings announced

Covid19 is causing massive disruption, uncertainty and a myriad of challenges for us all and for our Rebellion. We’ve currently taken the decision to either cancel, or put on notice, all of our larger in-person events (although it’s not our place to tell Working Groups, Affinity Groups or individual Rebels not to meet in person if they wish) as a precaution. So….

ONLINE WHOLE GROUP MEETINGS VIA ZOOM

We have set up three whole group meetings to be held online using Zoom (see below for details)

Each will be 1.5hrs long and take the same format:

  • 30mins : Setup – log in and get used to the zoom interface and features.
  • 60mins : Meeting. The proposed agenda will be 10-15mins of information on what is currently happening in XR Nottingham, regional and national. We currently think that Covid-19 and HS2 will be the main topics. Then we’ll breakout into small groups for discussions and finally come back as a whole group for feedback.

Wed 18th 2pm https://zoom.us/j/389731783

Fri 20th 7pm   https://zoom.us/j/445836018

Sat 21st 2pm https://zoom.us/j/154835632

Zoom is an online video calling programme/app. It’s actually really easy to use and allows us to do some cool stuff with lots of us (up to 100 at time), without having to be together. 

Before the meeting, please try to set yourself up. If you have a mobile device, you could download and install the Zoom app. If you have a webcam on your computer you can also set up on there. https://zoom.us/download#client_4meeting – download the “Zoom client for Meetings” option.

You don’t need a personal Zoom account to access a zoom call (unless you want to use Zoom for setting up your own meetings) All you need to do is click on the links that we share for each meeting. If you would like to have a brief test run at connecting before the meeting, or want any advice you can email email hidden; JavaScript is required

HS2 – some links just for your interest about Hs2, it is not necessary to read these…
https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/rethinkhs2/
http://stophs2.org/
https://rebellion.earth/?s=hs2
https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/protecting-trees-and-woods/campaign-with-us/hs2-rail-link/
https://www.hs2.org.uk/

LOVE AND REBELLION,
XR NOTTINGHAM