We want West Midlands Pension Fund to immediately freeze any new investment in fossil fuel companies, and divest from direct ownership and any commingled funds that include fossil fuel, public equities, and corporate bonds within 5 years.
(For example, their current holdings in Exxon Mobil, BP, BHP Billiton, Anglo American and Peabody Energy).
Why is this important?
Climate change is already causing massive destruction around the world. For the sake of all of our futures, we need to move away from fossil fuels and begin the transition to a clean and just energy economy, now.
Many of the fossil fuel companies that West Midlands Pension Fund invests in have a poor environmental record, including ExxonMobil. ExxonMobil, the world's largest oil company, spilled 11 million gallons of oil off the coast of Alaska and plans to drill in the Russian Arctic with Rosneft. BP, another West Midlands Pension Fund investment, was responsible for the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the Gulf of Mexico.
Fossil fuel companies are also 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 West Midlands continues to invest in fossil fuels.
We know that 80% of current fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground to prevent runaway climate change. We must act now!