DIVESTMENT WORKING GROUP
Dedicated to making the Nottinghamshire Local Government Pension Fund divest from Fossil Fuels
- Notts Pension Fund recently carried out a climate risk analysis. This looked at the impact of 2, 3 and 4°C global heating scenarios on its investments
- They did nothing to analyse the environmental or social consequences of any of these scenarios. In fact the analysis concluded that their investments would benefit from 2°C of heating
- The announcement of this report featured in the Committee’s October 2020 meeting. Video and our analysis HERE
The fund has 47,000 local members and holds an estimated £170m in fossil fuel company shares. It has no investments in sustainable or low carbon share funds, despite many being available to it to invest in.
All Nottingham and Nottinghamshire local authorities pay into the Pension Fund as employers. Plus many other employers – see this LIST.
The pension fund is controlled by a committee of nine county councillors who have voting rights. Other members sit on the committee but do not have a vote.
1. Eric Kerry (chair) – Toton, Chilwell and Attenborough (Conservative)
2. Chris Barnfather – Newstead (Conservative)
3. Francis Purdue-Horan – Bingham East (Conservative)
4. Mike Pringle – Ollerton (Labour)
5. Parry Tsimbiridis – Mansfield North (Labour)
6. Reg Adair – Leake and Ruddington (Conservative)
7. Sheila Place – Blyth and Harworth (Labour)
8. Stephen Garner – Mansfield South (Independant)
9. Tom Hollis – Sutton West (Ashfield Independants)
Two degrees means deadly heatwaves, flooding, wildfires, droughts, famines. The more heating, the more risks of all of these and the more risk that these pressure will lead to starvation, mass migration and war.
A Nasa report explains the difference between and 1.5°C and 2°C
Over 1300 institutions – worth $14.5trillion – around the world have committed to divestment. This includes at least 10 Local Government pension funds in the UK. Fossil Free website has lots of information on this.
Case studies of UK Local Government pension funds which have made substantial low carbon investments – Notts has made none. (written June 2020)
As international regulation responds to the climate emergency (to prevent or limit further extraction), is likely to cause more significant falls in the value of fossilfuel investments. These companies are currently valued on their reserves of oil and gas, with the assumption that these are available for sale at some future date. If these reserves cannot be extracted, they become worthless.
An additional reason for divestment in the case of the Nottinghamshire Pension Fund is that any shortfall in the fund (which provides final salary pensions to thousands of individuals) has to be met by employers. These are our Nottinghamshire schools, Local Councils and Charities, which are already badly affected by austerity.
The Divestment Working Group has written to all County Councillors, other members of the Pension Fund Committee and relevant County Council Officers outlining the catastrophic impacts of 2°C of heating, asking why these are not considered.
We also called for a 1.5°C scenario to be analysed, given that 1.5°C is the ambition of the Paris Agreement and the maximum ‘safe’ (i.e. non-catastrophic) limit of heating according to the IPCC.
The Pension Fund has responded saying that its main task is to maximise returns within acceptable risk for its members. It does not believe that the Pension Fund has any overriding responsibility to minimise the social and environmental damage caused by its investments, and has no plans to analyse these impacts.
We replied to the committee pointing out that it is losing £millions from the Pension Fund due to fossil fuel investments and is failing in its financial duty towards its members. We have again called for the Fund to consider the environmental impacts of its investments and to analyse the impacts of a 1.5°C heating scenario.
In March 2021 we wrote to the Pension Fund Committee detailing how fossil fuels stocks have underperformed the market over the last 5 to 10 years, and how sustainable investments are performing much better
In April 2021 we wrote to the committee to address the issue of engagement vs divestment in getting fossil fuel companies to address the climate crisis.
Letters sent to the Committee
IF YOU ARE A MEMBER OF THIS FUND
JOIN THE DIVESTMENT GROUP