• Divest Derbyshire
    1. Derbyshire County Council Pension Fund has £290 million invested in fossil fuel industries, including Royal Dutch Shell, BP and Rio Tinto. Fossil fuel industries make up nearly 6% of the pension fund. 2. The pension fund affects over 170 employers in Derbyshire including Derbyshire County Council, all the borough and District Councils in Derbyshire [1]; Derby City Council; Chesterfield College; Derby College; Derbyshire Fire Authority; Derbyshire Police Authority; Peak District National Park Authority; University of Derby and a large group of smaller employers. 3. 97% of climate scientists agree that humans are the primary cause of recent climate change, largely due to the release of greenhouse gases from the combustion of oil, coal and gas for heat and power. Climate change is happening now - we’re already experiencing global temperature rise, warming oceans, shrinking ice sheets and more frequent and intense extreme weather events. [2] Whole ecosystems are threatened, and people's lives are at risk due to flooding, food and water insecurity, creating climate change refugees. [3] 4. In order to stop the global climate warming by 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and avert global catastrophe, 80% of all known fossil fuels must stay in the ground. [4] By removing investments in fossil fuel companies Derbyshire County Council will be showing its commitment to creating a healthy, sustainable future for both the people of Derbyshire and the planet as a whole. 5. There is also a financial argument to divest from fossil fuels. The need and growing political pressure to leave as much of our fossil fuels in the ground make the risk of stranded assets (worthless fuel stocks that regulation will prevent from being burned) very real. [5] At the same time it is becoming more expensive both to find and to extract the remaining fuel deposits, while, renewable energy technology is becoming more efficient and less expensive. [6]. Both of these factors create risks for investors. People and institutions that own shares in fossil fuel companies will see the value of their investments decrease. [7,8] 6. Institutions across the world including churches and universities, the Environment Agency [9] as well as local authorities in the UK such as Bristol City Council and Oxford City Council have already committed to divest from fossil fuels. [10] Let's see Derbyshire join them in making this small but impactful commitment. This petition is supported by the following Derbyshire organisations (in alphabetical order): Amber Valley Against Fracking; Calow Against Gas Extraction (CAGE); Chesterfield and District TUC; Chesterfield Climate Alliance; Clay Cross Against Fracking; Creswell Against Fracking; Derby Climate Coalition; Eckington Against Fracking; Glossopdale Transition Initiative; Melbourne Area Transition; Sustainable Edale; Sustainable Hayfield; Transition Belper; Transition Buxton; Transition Chesterfield; Transition Hope Valley; Transition Matlock; Transition New Mills. Transition Wirksworth; University of Derby Students’ Union. Please let us know if you would like your group to be added to this list. A hard copy of this petition can be downloaded from www.transitionchesterfield.org/divest-derbyshire/ Notes [1] Amber Valley Borough Council; Bolsover District Council; Chesterfield Borough Council; Derby City Council; Derbyshire Dales District Council; Erewash Borough Council;; High Peak Borough Council; North East Derbyshire District Council; South Derbyshire District Council [2] http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/ [3] www.unhcr.org/pages/49e4a5096.html [4] www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-30709211 [5] www.carbontracker.org/report/wasted-capital-and-stranded-assets/ [6] www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/10957292/Fossil-industry-is-the-subprime-danger-of-this-cycle.html [7] www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/mar/03/bank-of-england-warns-of-financial-risk-from-fossil-fuel-investments [8] www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/oct/12/millions-wiped-off-uk-local-government-pensions-due-to-coal-crash-analysis-shows [9] www.eapf.org.uk/en/news-feed [10] http://gofossilfree.org/commitments/
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  • Divest Norfolk Pension Fund from Fossil Fuels
    UPDATE: Latest data (https://divest-dashboard.herokuapp.com/ - released Feb 2021) shows that Norfolk *still* has £118million invested in fossil fuels - 3.3% of its total fund. This is a small percentage of total investments compared to the last time these figures were released, but any investment in fossil fuels is unconscionable in this era of climate emergency. There is overwhelming evidence (1) that the impact on climate change of burning even the known reserves of fossil fuels will create an unsustainable environment for the generations to come, and untold suffering to countless living beings. This fact will impact negatively on the value of investments in the industries concerned with fossil fuel extraction. Using just the fossil fuel reserves listed on the world’s stock markets would be enough to take us beyond 2°C of global warming (2). This means that more than 80 per cent of the world's known coal reserves, 30 per cent of known oil and 50 per cent of gas reserves need to stay in the ground and drilling in the Arctic is out of the question if we're to stay below two degrees. Recent drops in the oil price add to the uncertainty surrounding fossil fuels and the financial viability of some extractions presenting opportunities to lessen our dependency on fossil fuels (3). In defiance of mainstream research evidence and international policy (4), fossil fuel companies continue to extract and burn as much carbon as possible to maximise their profits. Despite the very high probability of planetary disaster they show no intention of switching away from their core business model. Our local council has a responsibility to divest from an industry that’s destroying the very future for ourselves and for our children that personal investment in a pension seeks to enhance. Instead it should reinvest in solutions to climate change. We won’t see any political progress on climate change until we can weaken the power of the fossil fuel industry. Divestment for fossil fuel investments would also minimise the council's exposure to the financial risk of the 'carbon bubble', whereby shareholders risk being left with stranded assets (worthless fuel stocks that regulation will prevent from being burned). It is a paradox that pension funds providing income for the future should at the same time be investing in the fossil fuel industry which if left to its own devices will exploit more of the fossil fuel reserves than we can safely use! Institutions around the world including local government, universities and churches are pulling out of fossil fuel investments and moving towards a clean energy future (5) It's time to divest from fossil fuels and reinvest in clean energy now for inescapable moral and economic reasons. Shareholders (including pension funds) have started to challenge Exxon, Shell and BP to show how their business model is compatible with a 2 degree temperature rise (6). Some argue that engaging with fossil fuel companies is a more effective tactic than divestment. But Jonathon Porritt, one of the UK’s most esteemed environmentalists who spent years working on sustainability projects with BP and Shell, earlier this year said engagement was now futile because “hydrocarbon supremacists” at the companies had successfully ousted reformers wanting to diversify into green energy. Divestment, therefore, seems to be an unavoidable step to halting the damage and suffering which will ensue unless timely action is taken. 1 http://350.org/about/science/ 2 http://math.350.org/ 3 http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22530043.100-over-a-barrel-falling-oil-prices-and-the-environment.html http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22029415.700-an-oil-crash-is-on-its-way-and-we-should-be-ready.html#.VNI0c9kgGc0 4 http://www.ipcc.ch/ 5 http://zerocarbonbritain.org/index.php/zcb-latest-report 6 http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jan/21/bp-challenged-confront-climate-change-risk-by-shareholders Thanks to Holly from the campaign to divest Avon pension fund for letting us use their text.
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  • DIVEST Lincolnshire County Council Pension Fund from Fossil Fuels
    Lincolnshire - on the front line of global warming. Climate Change has caused, and is predicted to cause, a much greater risk of flooding and extreme weather but Lincolnshire is uniquely vulnerable to rising sea level. The Council recognises the potential impacts of global warming yet its pension fund invests over £100,000,000 in the very fossil fuel companies that are causing climate change. About 7% of the County’s pension fund, is invested in causing the problem. Most of the world’s coal, oil and gas reserves must remain in the ground, unburnt if we are to avoid catastrophic global warming. As governments begin to regulate more closely, policy changes and oversupply of fossil fuels globally will see the value of carbon plummet, reserves will become stranded assets; their share prices will collapse. This makes investing in fossil fuels increasingly risky for all stakeholders. Financial experts, including the Bank of England, Goldman Sachs, Standard and Poor's and AXA, have warned of the economic risk that climate change policies pose to fossil fuel companies. Lincolnshire County Council needs to be ahead of the curve by divesting quickly to safeguard the future pensions of all its shareholders. Lincolnshire County Council recognises that it must do whatever it can to tackle climate change and it has a responsibility to divest from an industry that jeopardises the future of our planet. Yet the short term financial gain that the Pension Fund Committee hopes to achieve comes at the risk of financial loss as well as a cost to people and planet. We hope Lincolnshire County Council pension trustees are aware of September’s UNEP Finance Initiative Report, Fiduciary Duty in the 21st Century – which concludes that: "Failing to consider long-term investment value drivers, which include environmental, social and governance issues, in investment practice is a failure of fiduciary duty.” Instead of fossil fuel investment, the Pension Fund Committee should invest in solutions to climate change, investments that protect pensions and planet, joining The British Medical Association, Bristol City Council and Oxford City Council who have all recently agreed to make the commitment to no direct investment in the fossil fuel industry. Globally Lincolnshire County Council would join over 400 institutions and 2000 individuals with an asset base of $2.6 trillion who are already divesting across the world. --ENDS-- Please sign the petition and encourage others to do so. For data on Local Authority pension fund investment in fossil fuels see http://gofossilfree.org/uk/pensions/ and http://math.350.org/ Petition from Biff Vernon for Transition Town Louth
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  • Divest Somerset County Council Pension Fund from fossil fuels
    Somerset - on the front line of climate change. Climate Change has caused, and is predicted to cause, a much greater risk of flooding and extreme weather. After the devastating floods of the Somerset Levels in 2013 Somerset County Council saw the terrible impact of climate change first hand. The Council recognises the potential impacts of climate change yet its pension fund invests £121,505,000 in the very fossil fuel companies that are causing climate change ! Yes, 8.3% of the fund, the 10th highest % in the UK, invested in the problem ! We can't afford to burn 80% of the world’s coal, oil and gas reserves if we want to keep climate change below the 2oC 'tipping point'. As governments begin to regulate more closely after the Paris COP agreement, cheaper renewables and oversupply of crude oil globally will see the value of fossil fuels plummet, reserves will become 'stranded assets' and the share price will drop. This makes investing in fossil fuels increasingly risky for all stakeholders. Financial experts, including the Bank of England, Goldman Sachs, Standard and Poor's and AXA, have warned of the economic risk that climate change policies pose to fossil fuel companies. Somerset County Council needs to be ahead of the curve to safeguard the future pensions of all its shareholders. Somerset County Council recognises that it must do whatever it can to tackle climate change and it has a responsibility to divest from an industry that jeopardises the future of our planet. Yet the short term financial gain that the Pension Fund Committee hopes to achieve comes at the risk of financial loss and a cost to people and planet. We hope Somerset County County Council pension trustees are aware of September’s UNEP Finance Initiative Report, Fiduciary Duty in the 21st Century – which concludes that: "Failing to consider long-term investment value drivers, which include environmental, social and governance issues, in investment practice is a failure of fiduciary duty.” Instead of fossil fuel investment, SCC Pension Fund Committee should invest in solutions to climate change, investments that protect pensions and planet, joining The British Medical Association, Bristol City Council and Oxford City Council who have all recently agreed to make the commitment to no direct investment in the fossil fuel industry. Globally Somerset County Council would join over 400 institutions and 2000 individuals with an asset base of $2.6 trillion who are already divesting across the world. Time is running out to stop runaway climate change, (2) it make no moral or economic sense to invest in fossil fuels. The time to change was 30 years ago but massive divestment now is a key part in getting to zero emissions by 2030 and having a chance. Please sign the petition and encourage others to do so. (1) http://math.350.org/ 350.org has revealed how much every UK council invests in fossil fuels. Petition from Cllr Shane Collins, Leader of the Green Group on Mendip Council, East Mendip Green Party, South Somerset Green Party. (2) Kevin Anderson https://www.science.su.se/english/about-us/calendar/the-gordon-goodman-memorial-lecture-2017-kevin-anderson-1.341476
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  • Divest Beverly from Fossil Fuels!
    Beverly, like every city, town, state, and country, is at a pivotal moment in history. Man-made climate change is causing environmental devastation and human suffering here in Beverly and around the world. We still have the power to avert irreversible changes, but the window of opportunity is closing. Divesting from the fossil fuels that are causing climate change is a crucial step toward ensuring a sustainable future for Beverly and the rest of the world. Our local government has a responsibility to divest from an industry that’s destroying our future, and reinvest in solutions to climate change. We can not count on the federal government, even as extreme weather events like the record-breaking winter storms of 2014-2015 overwhelm local budgets. We have the solutions, but we won’t see any political progress on the issue until we can weaken the power of the fossil fuel industry. The bottom line is this: divestment is the only moral choice for governments that care about their citizens. Solving the climate crisis is the only practical choice for governments that care about their solvency. It's time to divest from fossil fuels now!
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  • Suffolk County Council: Divest from fossil fuel
    Suffolk County Council says it wants to be the “Greenest county” yet its latest pension fund figures (September 2015) showed it had £11 million worth of Shell shares – 5% of its total holding in UK shares. Campaign groups estimate that in 2014 it held in total £117 million worth of fossil fuel assets. [1] All local authorities in Suffolk contribute to this pension fund, including Ipswich Borough Council, Waveney District Council, Suffolk Coastal District Council, St Edmundsbury Borough Council, Mid Suffolk District Council, Forest Heath District Council and Babergh District Council Investing in fossil fuel creates a risk both to members of the pension fund and to the planet. Respected financial analysts warn that fossil fuel companies are likely to be over-valued due to their reliance on reserves in the ground which will become worthless if carbon legislation comes into effect. [2] Only a fraction of fossil fuel companies' reserves may be extracted and burned whilst keeping within the 2°C climatic warming target agreed by the world's Governments at international climate negotiations. [3] Suffolk should sell its fossil fuel investments and follow the example of several other local authorities who have invested cash in local sustainable projects such renewable energy, energy efficiency or building much needed energy efficient social homes. This blog by Friends of the Earth Scotland gives some examples. http://www.blog.foe-scotland.org.uk/index.php/2015/06/6-local-governments/ This would provide local jobs, a stronger local economy and reliable long term, low risk returns for the pension fund. [1] http://gofossilfree.org/uk/pensions/ [2] http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/apr/19/carbon-bubble-financial-crash-crisis [3] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-30709211
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  • DivestSurrey
    Right now the Surrey Pension Fund has around £90 million invested directly in climate wrecking fossil fuels despite the efforts of our DivestSurrey campaign and many similar campaign groups across Surrey to persuade them to divest. Thousands of people across the country are asking why local authority pension funds such as ours in Surrey deem it acceptable to fund companies like BP who have a committed £41 billion looking for new fossil fuel reserves over the next decade. It is absolutely senseless! Help us persuade the Surrey Pension Fund to remove these investments by signing up to our campaign. Many thanks Steve McDonald
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  • Warwickshire County Council: Divest From Fossil Fuels
    By continuing to grant social legitimacy to the burning of fossil fuels, our council is complicit in driving unprecedented climate change. The warming of our planet is harming people by the millions through the more frequent extreme weather events hitting communities across the world. We must do all we can to keep fossil fuels in the ground to avert runaway climate change and stop our climate warming above the 2 degrees C. We are already seeing the disastrous effects of climate change across the globe. Allowing companies to explore and drill for more fossil fuels like Fracking or drilling in the Arctic, can only lead to more damage to our climate and fragile eco-systems. Scientists have recently estimated that fossil fuel reserves still in the ground are approximately three times the size of that which can be burnt to have a 50:50 chance of staying below the agreed target of 2 degrees C of global average warming. Therefore, actions to avert catastrophic climate change will soon deem investments in fossil fuel reserves ‘stranded assets’. This represents substantial risk for investors and pensioners. It is for these reasons that the fossil fuel divestment movement is the fastest growing divestment movement the world has ever seen. Currently Warwickshire County Council has £88,368,000 invested in Fossil Fuel investments: £33,107,000 in direct investments including: 1 BP PLC ORD USD0.25 £9,815,000 2 BG GROUP PLC ORD GBP0.10 £7,322,000 3 RIO TINTO PLC £6,998,000 4 ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC B SHS £5,742,000 5 TULLOW OIL PLC ORD GBP0.10 £2,012,000 With a further £55,261,000.00 projected in indirect investments. Institutions across the world are already committing to divestment including: Oxford City Council, the British Medical Association, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Warwick University. PLEASE SIGN if you believe Warwickshire County Council should Divest from Fossil Fuels.
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  • Devon County Council - Divest from Fossil Fuels
    Pensions are about giving us a secure future. But our future security is fundamentally threatened by climate change. Our pension funds should not be invested in oil, gas and coal companies when we know we must leave 80% of all fossil fuels in the ground to avoid catastrophic climate change. Our local authorities have a duty to look after the public good. Fossil fuels are in direct conflict with the public good: investing in them poses a risk both to pension members and to the planet. So Devon County Council should take a moral, political and economic stand against them by taking our money away from fossil fuel companies and putting it into investments that are less at risk from climate change legislation. Divestment from fossil fuels would make a powerful statement that the fossil fuel industry is morally and economically unviable, and that the people of Devon wish to support an alternative, sustainable energy future that will leave the planet in a shape that allows us, our children and grandchildren to live safely on it. .......................................................................................................................................................... Template letter (please adapt and use your own words as much as possible, talking about why this issue is important to you): Dear Councillor In 2019, Devon County Council ranked 14th among UK local authorities for the amount of its pension fund invested in fossil fuels. The Devon Pension Fund had £157 million invested through passive portfolios, with the two main companies being Shell and BP. The core business models of Shell and BP are based on the extraction of fossil fuels with absolutely no prospect of change within the timescales required by the Paris Agreement. Both these companies plan to continue exploration for years to come and are opening new oil wells in UK waters. Brunel Partnership who manage the fund have made a commitment to net zero by 2050 and to reduce the fossil fuel investments of the Devon Pension Fund by a minimum of 7% a year. Such incremental change would have been possible had we begun thirty years ago, but the International Energy Agency (IEA) have concluded that exploitation and development of new oil and gas fields must stop this year and no new coal-fired power stations can be built if the world is to stay within safe limits of global heating. Cllr Bloxham has defended the position of the DCC Pensions and Investment Committee saying that “to achieve real emissions reductions it is vital we engage with the companies we are invested in, to hold them to take responsibility for their products”. Both Shell and BP and many of the others indirectly funded by the DCC Pension Fund have spent decades, and continue today, to spend millions of pounds a year funding lobbying groups to suppress the science, spread misinformation and confusion which has resulted in widespread climate denial and inaction. The best way for DCC to influence these companies is to join the growing number of local authorities and organisations, such as the Methodist Church and many Universities, who have removed their investments and placed them in alternative funds. I therefore demand that: 1) DCC fully divest its pension fund from all fossil fuel investments in the next 12 months 2) DCC informs all pension holders in the Local Government Pension Scheme of the current fossil fuel investments and produces a roadmap for divestment with clear milestones 3) DCC works with the relevant agencies to develop and fund a low carbon investment programme for Devon The safety and security of the people you represent depend on strong action on the climate crisis. Divest Now!
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  • Help Portsmouth, NH pave the way for Fossil Fuel DIVESTMENT!
    Our local government has a responsibility to divest from an industry that’s destroying our future, and reinvest in solutions to climate change. We can't count on the federal government, even as extreme weather events overwhelm local budgets. We have the solutions, but we won’t see any political progress on the issue until we can weaken the power of the fossil fuel industry. The bottom line is this: divestment is the only moral choice for governments that care about their citizens. Solving the climate crisis is the only practical choice for governments that care about their solvency. It's time to divest from fossil fuels now!
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  • Hertfordshire County Council: Divest your funds invested in fossil fuel industries
    More CO2 in the atmosphere means more extreme weather events that could leave millions of people displaced from their homes. Our government committed to a legally binding climate deal to help prevent this. It's time to break free from fossil fuels and invest in clean energy, for everyone's future. 1. Hertfordshire County Council Pension Fund has around £140,000,000 invested in fossil fuel industries, including BG Group PLC, Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Rio Tinto PLC. 2. The pension fund affects over 180 employers in Hertfordshire including Hertfordshire County Council (including schools), North Herts District Council, Dacorum Borough Council, East Hertfordshire District Council, Hertsmere Borough Council. Broxbourne Borough Council, St Albans District Council, Stevenage Borough Council, Three Rivers District Council, Watford Borough Council and a range of community and voluntary groups. See here for list http://divestherts.org/ 3. 97% of climate scientists agree that humans are the primary cause of recent climate change, largely due to the release of greenhouse gases from the combustion of oil, coal and gas for heat and power. Global warming is happening now - it is not a thing of the future; thanks to our appetite for fossil fuels we’ve already experienced a global temperature rise of about 1°C since the Industrial Revolution.[1] The effects of this rise in temperature are already being felt, causing more frequent and intense extreme weather events, including more tropical storms in some areas, but drought in others. Climatic changes and oceans becoming more acidic due to absorbing excess carbon dioxide present a real threat to whole ecosystems. It’s not just bad for the environment, it’s putting people's lives at risk too due to food and water insecurity and is creating climate change refugees.[2] 4. In order to stop the global climate warming by another 2 °C, 80% of all known fossil fuels must stay in the ground.[3] However, despite all the evidence showing that we need to transition to cleaner forms of energy, fossil fuel companies are continuing to extract dirty fossil fuels, and making huge profits in the process.[4] 5. Investments in fossil fuels are also risky. Recent fluctuations in oil prices means that divesting from fossil fuels would minimise the council's exposure to the financial risk of the 'carbon bubble', whereby companies risk being left with stranded assets (worthless fuel stocks that regulation will prevent from being burned). People and institutions that own shares in the companies will see the value of their investments decrease. (5) 6. By removing investments in these companies Hertfordshire County Council will be showing its commitment to creating a healthy, sustainable future for both the people of Hertfordshire and the planet as a whole. 7. Institutions across the world including churches and universities, as well as local authorities in the UK such as Bristol City Council and Oxford City Council have already committed to divest from fossil fuels. [6] Let's see Hertfordshire join them in making this small but impactful commitment. [1] http://350.org/about/science/ [2] http://climatemigration.org.uk/about-us/ [3] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-30709211 [4] http://priceofoil.org/tag/fossil-fuel-industry-profits/ [5] http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/28f00388-0df3-11e5-9a65-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3mHL64WyD [6]http://gofossilfree.org/commitments/
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  • Islington Council: Divest from Fossil Fuels
    Climate change is the most pressing problem facing humanity. We want to protect this planet so it remains for our children and grandchildren. We can start by asking our local council to take its money out of fossil fuels - currently £59.5 million. Local government has a duty to act for the public good. Fossil fuels are in direct conflict with this: investing in them threatens the planet and poses a risk to investors. Financial research has called into question the valuations of fossil fuel companies as they rely on reserves which must remain unburned if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change. Islington Council should take a prudent economic decision and a moral stand by moving our money away from risky fossil fuel investments. Divestment from fossil fuels makes a powerful statement that the fossil fuel industry is morally and financially unviable, and that the people of Islington want a sustainable future.
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