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.
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.”