Fossil Free UK - Local Government

Public money shouldn’t be funding an industry that undermines our future. Municipalities around the world have already committed to divest - it’s about time that yours did too!

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Campaigns (56)

    If it is wrong to wreck the planet, it is wrong to profit from wrecking the planet. Public bodies have an obligation to act in the interests of the public good. Our local Council has a track record to be proud of in environmental concerns, and we ask them to continue to lead the way by divesting from fossil fuels. It is accepted that to avoid an irreversible change in weather systems the temperature of the planet must not rise by more than 2 degrees C. To avoid this rise, we must not burn anymore than 565 Billion tonnes of CO2. Fossil fuel companies already have reserves of CO2 to more than five times this amount. These companies are not listening to patently obvious scientific warnings. Instead, they are literally scouring the globe for the last remaining fuels to burn and bucks to make. Currently, the Tyne & Wear Pension Fund invests £264, 961, 000 into the Fossil Fuel industry. By committing to divest from the industry and invest in renewables in five years, the council would be taking the moral lead in this matter of social justice - following councils in Bristol, Oxford and Kirklees. Continued engagement with and investment in the fossil fuel industry jeopardises the very future that pension funds are supposed to guarantee and secure. On the other hand, investment in renewable energy ensures a sustainable, viable and secure future for our children. But this is no longer an issue that our children will need to sort out. It is an encroaching reality and we must act. So we call on our council to lead the way and divest now to create a sustainable future.
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    Created by Robert Noyes Picture
  • North Yorkshire Fossil Fuel Divestment
    The North Yorkshire Pension Fund Committee could, like a growing number of other Local Authority-administered Pension Funds, adopt a strategy of steady 'divestment and re-investment'. This means moving away from investing in an increasingly unstable and more costly fossil fuel dependency towards a cleaner, cheaper and ultimately more profitable renewable future, which will enable local communities across North Yorkshire and beyond to benefit. To help achieve this, we are asking the Pension Fund Committee to: 1. Freeze any new investment in the top 200 publicly-traded fossil fuel companies[1] at the earliest opportunity [1] The Carbon Underground 200 Project, at 2. Commit to a policy of divesting or withdrawing from direct ownership and any commingled funds that include fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds over the next 5 years; and of re-investing in a new carbon-free portfolio of more local, ethical and renewable energy technologies and infrastructure developments 3. Include these action points above in the Pension Fund Committee’s Investment Strategy Statement, with effect from the earliest possible date. (* Adapted from the petition model in the Gofossilfree campaign’s guidance – see Local Government Guide at )
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    Created by Mike Barron Picture
  • Divest Dorset From Fossil Fuels
    Fossil Fuels are now proven to be responsible for a large, and growing, number of harmful effects which harm the natural environment, people, and wildlife, and no economic case can be made which can justify the damage being done nor which could support the remedial action necessary to prevent damage being passed on to future generations
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    Created by Charles Miller Picture
  • Divest Scottish Borders Council From Fossil Fuels
    Over £23 million of the Scottish Borders Council pension fund is currently invested in Fossil Fuels. (Divest and Reinvest Scotland Report) We need our council to take an active role in protecting our environment and the health of our communities, investing in fossil fuels is out dated and contributes to continuing climate change. As well as contributing to the destruction of our planet these funds are now at risk as fossil fuels become a thing of the past - we need our council to secure these funds for their employees by investing in technologies of the future including renewable energy and investing in our communities.
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    Created by Pauline Stewart Picture
  • Worcestershire County Council Divest from Fossil Fuels
    It has been reported ( that the Worcestershire County Council Pension Fund has £197,423,000 (10.74% of its total pension fund) invested in fossil fuels. If fossil fuel companies extract and burn just 20% of the reserves they hold, this will cause catastrophic climate change (extreme weather, food shortages and conflict). The urgency of stopping climate change requires that we progressively stop burning fossil fuels now. It is irresponsible and immoral for public bodies and pension funds to invest in fossil fuel extraction companies and instead they should, where possible, direct investment into 'green energy' infrastructure. Fossil fuel companies are highly overvalued due to the assumption that all of their reserves will be burnt. But as policy catches up to climate realities, this overvaluation means there’s a multi-trillion dollar “carbon bubble” that’s poised to burst. This will greatly effect the value of our Pensions if they are still invested in Fossil Fuels.
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    Created by Matthew Jenkins Picture
  • Ask Hampshire County Council to stop investing in Fossil Fuels
    Our local authority has a duty to look out for the public good. Fossil fuels are in direct conflict with the public good:investing in them poses a risk to both investors and the planet. Even President Obama has admitted that 'no challenge poses a greater threat to our future and future generations than a change in climate'. Over 97% of scientists now agree that climate change is fuelled by the burning of fossil fuels. This causes problems both worldwide and within Hampshire, where we will see increasing areas of low lying land become prone to flooding. Institutions around the world including local government, universities and churches are pulling out of fossil fuels investments and moving towards a cleaner energy future. It's now time to divest from fossil fuels and reinvest in a better future. Financial research has called into question the valuation of fossil fuel companies due to their reliance on reserves which would become unburnable if international carbon legislation comes into effect. Divestment from fossil fuels would minimise the council's exposure to the financial risk of the 'carbon bubble', whereby shareholders risk being left with 'stranded assets' (worthless fuels stocks that regulations will prevent from being burned.)
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    Created by Grace Hall Picture
  • Divest Bexley Council from fossil fuels
    Bexley Council's huge investments in fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) are a matter of financial and ethical concern for everyone living in the borough of Bexley. Bexley Pension Fund is responsible for the incomes of Bexley pensioners and invests around £30m in fossil fuel companies including Glencore, Suncor and Tullow Oil. There is strong evidence that these investments in fossil fuel companies are highly risky in the short and long term. And in the event of their investments falling in value, the shortfall has to be paid for by council taxpayers. At the same time these fossil fuel investments are a direct contributor to damaging man-made climate change. This is of particular relevance to Bexley residents as the area will be severely affected by future flooding caused by climate change - a risk acknowledged by Bexley Council itself. This pointless gamble with our future is due to an unwillingness of the council's financial advisers, including UBS, to stray beyond the herdlike 'business as usual' thinking that led to the 2008 financial crash. It therefore makes financial and ethical sense to stop investing in these companies. We are concerned residents calling on Bexley Council to show leadership and commit to divesting from fossil fuels joining public institutions including Haringey Council, British Medical Association, Stanford University, Oxford City Council and Bristol City Council.
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    Created by Samuel Martin Picture
  • 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 and Petition from Biff Vernon for Transition Town Louth
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    Created by Biff Vernon
  • Divest City of Westminster Borough from Fossil Fuels
    The 33 London local authorities’ pension funds are investing £1,882 million in fossil fuel companies, averaging just over 6% of their total pension investments. Westminster with 7.8% of its total pension invested in fossil fuels is among the 10 London councils with the highest percentage investments. Why Divest? Local authorities in the UK led the way on divesting from apartheid in the 1980s. They can do so again to challenge catastrophic climate change. Moral Argument - Financial Argument – Public Benefit Argument Pensions are for our and our families’ future. But that future is threatened by fossil fuel extraction. It is also a financial argument. When governments finally take climate change seriously and legislate to leave fossil fuels in the ground, shares in oil, gas and coal will become worthless. Funds which don’t invest in fossil fuels often perform as well or better than fossil-fuel heavy funds, so divestment does not mean that existing pension funds lose out. And it is a public benefit argument. By investing this capital into renewable energy, public transport and social housing, local government could create jobs and boost local economies, while protecting pensions.
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    Created by Alex Horn Picture
    97% of scientists agree that Climate Change is a fact(1)One of the effects of this will be increased instances of flooding. The reserves of fossil fuels left in the ground are dwindling, and are ever more difficult to extract. In the long term they will run out. In the future the world needs to move towards reliable non fossil fuels such as renewable energy. Moving investments away from fossil fuels will hasten this change to alternative sources of energy. Tonbridge is a town that is already prone to flooding,and so particularly at risk from extreme weather events. It does not make sense for a borough that is suffering from the results of climate change to be investing in the fossil fuels that are fuelling climate change. In the past fossil fuels were seen as a good safe investment....but the world is changing, and they are not the most reliable source of energy for the future. 1
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    Created by Frances Long