To: Cornwall Council

Divest Cornwall

Divest Cornwall Councils holdings in Fossil Fuels by 2020, and reinvest such that Cornwall really can live up to its potential as a renewable trendsetter for the UK.

Specifically:
1. Immediately freeze any new investments in fossil fuels.
2. Divest from direct ownership and any commingled funds that include fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds within 5 years.

Why is this important?

Watch this brilliant one and half minute film explaining the petition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xa8CBI-dltE

Further background information: 195 nations have agreed (at COP21 in Paris, December 2015) that to increase global temperatures beyond 2 degrees celsius would be CATASTROPHIC. This means dramaticly cutting our our carbon emissions, and keeping most of the known fossil fuels in the ground - Watch this for the IMPERATIVENESS of the situation: "Do the Math" at http://math.350.org/ bear, and this "Al Gore, Why I am optimistic about Climate Change" at https://www.ted.com/talks/al_gore_the_case_for_optimism_on_climate_change for an injection of impetus!

Quite apart from the moral imperative to look after the planet that is our home (and that of the children of all species - not just our own!) Fossil fuel investments are losing value, and, according to many analysts, are on the verge of haemoraging. The governor of the Bank Of England has suggested divesting from fossil fuels as a wise financial move, and the Rockefeller foundation - founded upon fossil fuels, recently announced that they are divesting.

"The leading argument by financial analysts is that, with emerging regulation to curb global temperature increases and growing competition from low-carbon energy sources, there is a real risk of “stranded assets” and “unburnable carbon”.

“Stranded assets“, as coined by the Carbon Tracker Initiative, refers to assets that lose their value or turn into liabilities before the end of their economic life cycle. Such an outcome is expected of much of the world’s fossil fuel reserves, a large percentage of which is said to be unburnable (over 80% of coal, 50% of gas and 30% of oil) if we are to stay within the 2°C globally agreed threshold." From: http://www.blog.clientearth.org/why-pension-fund-trustees-must-consider-climate-risk/

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To grasp the seriousness of the climate crisis, you just need to do a little maths: Fossil fuel corporations have 5 times more oil, coal and gas in known reserves than the most conservative climate scientists think is safe to burn. Therefore we have to keep at least 80% of their fossil fuels underground to keep the earth in anything resembling livable shape.

Despite this fact, fossil fuel companies continue to explore for more fossil fuels because, with our current economic system, the amount of reserves they have determines their share value. This exploration is potentially devastating for the environments where it occurs - imagine the DeepWater Horizon disaster in the hostile and treacherous seas of the Arctic - a scenario the US government gives a 75% chance of occuring. or the total devastation of Canada's Tar sand fields in Lancashire...

By selling off their shares in fossil fuel companies, large institutions, like Cornwall Council, can use their financial clout to prevent such exploration from occurring, and help to keep the "oil in the soil, and the coal in the hole"

If you want more detail: at current levels of Carbon dioxide emission, we have less than 15 years before crossing a dangerous threshold (2 degree celsius rise in global temperature) that almost every government in the world has agreed would be unsafe.

We humans have already raised the temperature .8°C with the carbon dioxide already emitted, and that has caused far more damage than most scientists expected. A third of summer sea ice in the Arctic is gone, the oceans are 30 percent more acidic, and since warm air holds more water vapor than cold, the climate dice are loaded for both devastating floods and drought.

Scientists estimate that humans can pour roughly 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and still have some reasonable hope of staying below two degrees. Computer models calculate that even if we stopped increasing CO2 levels now, the temperature would still rise another 0.8 degrees above the 0.8 we’ve already warmed, which means that we’re already 3/4s of the way to the 2 degree limit.

For much greater detail - see the film "Do the Math" at http://math.350.org/

Cornwall, United Kingdom

Reasons for signing

  • I've read Jeremy Leggett's book (it's a free download) and I'm convinced that the time has now come to get rid of investments in these things. Public and pension funds are at risk if they are invested in an increasingly unwanted commodity.
  • Obsesssion with the profit gained from fossil fuels obstructs research and development in renewables.
  • The future is powered by renewable energy

Updates

2015-10-24 05:41:09 -0400

100 signatures reached

2015-09-21 06:05:42 -0400

50 signatures reached

2015-09-19 01:49:19 -0400

25 signatures reached

2015-09-18 06:54:26 -0400

10 signatures reached