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.