Politics

200 MPs calls for pension fund to divest from fossil fuels

palace of westminster

Palace of Westminster Source: By Superikonoskop [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

A cross-party group of 200 current and former MPs has called for the parliamentary pension fund to stop investing in fossil fuel companies.

The group, which includes two-thirds of MPs representing Scottish seats, signed a pledge calling for the fund to review fossil fuel investments and commit to phasing them out on climate change grounds.

The pledge says:

“We believe Members of Parliament have a responsibility to act on climate change, and a unique opportunity to show leadership on climate action, responsible investment and the management of climate risk through addressing the practices of our own pension fund.”

The signatories called on the fund trustees to take seriously the financial risks of climate change:

“We ask they quantify, disclose and review the fund’s investments in carbon-intensive industries, engage in a dialogue with fund members and managers on responsible investment, and commit to phasing out fossil fuel investments over an appropriate time-scale.”

171 of the signatories were current MPs (representing just over a quarter of the House of Commons) and 28 were former MPs.

Of the current MPs there were:

  • 116 Labour (45% of party’s parliamentary total)
  • 29 SNP (83%)
  • 11 Liberal Democrat (92%)
  • 10 Conservative (3%)
  • 1 Green (100%)

Of the 28 former MPs, 14 were Labour, 5 Liberal Democrats, 5 Conservative and 2 SNP.

More details of signatories

The campaign to divest the parliamentary pension fund began in 2014 with a small group of MPs, including the Green Party MP Caroline Lucas.

The group succeeded in 2017 in forcing the fund trustees to disclose its investments for the first time. This revealed large investments in BP and Shell.

Ms Lucas said:

“We’re now a 200 strong cohort of cross-party MPs who believe it is morally indefensible for Parliamentarians to be investing in companies which profit from wrecking our planet. MPs have a duty to take action to prevent the worst of climate change. One simple step we can take is ditching our investments.”

38 replies »

    • And given that the vast majority will already be ex MP’s receiving their pensions, the 200 falls into insignificance.

  1. Sorry – don’t know what happened there – it was a link to the Climate Change discussions Live (from the UNCCC – United Nation Convention on Climate Change) … Japan just re-iterated its (Paris agreement) pledge and is on track ith a huge amount of financial support towards global decarbonisation and helping developing countries leapfrog fossil fuel dependency. Great to see such sanity and concern in the public realm.

    • They are in the happy position that their pensions are guaranteed by the taxpayer and not subject to the performance of the fund so they don’t need to.

  2. So, it enables them to play politics without suffering the financial/risk consequences! Plus, they are not controlled very tightly in respect of claiming expenses. Plus, they find jobs for their relatives.

    But of course, only really dedicated public servants apply! LOL

    • As in the Telegraph article Jeremy Corbyn. He also benefits from the state pension and an entitlement from his time at Haringay Council in North London.

      Haringey Council has £36,000,057.50 currently invested in foreign Fracking operations, hopefully Jezza will benefit from these investments when he retires from whatever he does?

      • Oh please. Don’t you have any work to do Kisheny? Corbyn isn’t my favorite politician either. Less than half of Labour MPs signed btw (45%). Liberals showed themselves to be most progressive (92% signed) followed be the SNPs (83%).

      • JC needs all the income he can get to pay the fine for late completion of his tax return! Some might call that a penalty for tax avoidance. Different values for some, compared to others.

  3. By the stats sheet you provided Kisheny Haringey council has 0% of it’s fund directly invested in Fracking. The investment you point to – said to be in ‘Fracking Companies’ is in companies that do engage in some fracking operations like Shell and BP. Please work out the percentage of their operations that are dedicated to fracking then multiply that figure by the 2.75% of their total fund that is invested in those companies. It will inevitably amount to a small fraction of 1%. Furthermore the direction of travel is towards divestment.

    This way we can all gauge how over excitable you are!

      • I have pointed that out a good many times aswell Phillip, sadly the anti fracking cabal either cannot understand how the investment markets work, or simply like to misrepresent the facts for their own ends.

        Wonder which it might be…

    • Oh direction of travel???

      Well the current direction is £65,454,650.00 of Haringey Council invested in fossil fuels…

      Wish I was a penny behind you Phil if you think £65 and a half Million is small change???

      • And just imagine the effect of the Kishys of this world when all this is investment binned……perhaps you finishing for Christmas may stretch on a little longer?

        • Less than 3% of the fund, and a tiny fraction of that in fracking, not quite how you started your fairytale. You know pension funds exist to provide pensions, not virtue signal at the whim of a small minority of the population?

          I wonder how you would get on in your daily life if fossil fuels disappeared?

      • Well, at least you’re changing your tune now. First it was 65m “invested in foreign Fracking operations” , now it’s “in fossil fuels”. Be careful about how you want to spin facts, some people may be paying attention.

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