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To: Universities Superannuation Scheme
Universities Superannuation Scheme Divest from Fossil Fuels
As university staff we call on Universities Superannuation Scheme divest their £40billion pension fund from the top 200 companies involved in the exploration, ownership or extraction of fossil fuels.
Specifically, we call on them to:
- Screen for and exclude the fossil fuel industry from their investment portfolio
immediately freeze any new investment in fossil fuel companies.
- Divest from the fossil fuel industry and shift funds to lower risk, ethical investments within 5 years.
Why is this important?
Climate change, caused by emissions of greenhouse gases from burning oil, gas and coal, threatens the lives and livelihoods of billions of people around the world. Extreme weather events — such as the floods, melting icecaps and wildfires we've seen in recent years — make it clear that climate change is no longer a future threat: it’s a clear and present danger. Those worst affected, and often least responsible for causing climate change, are the poor and vulnerable in both developed and developing countries.
We now know that at least two-thirds of fossil fuel companies' reserves will have to remain underground if the world is to meet existing internationally agreed targets to avoid the threshold for "dangerous" climate change. Experts warn this 'carbon bubble' could lead to stranded assets worth trillions and plunge the world into another financial crisis.
If it is wrong to wreck the climate, then it is wrong to profit from that wreckage. By investing if fossil fuel companies USS is continuing to support an industry who's business plan is incomparable with avoiding dangerous climate change.
It's time for USS to realise how incompatible these relationships are with a safe climate future, and to take meaningful action to go Fossil Free. By divesting from fossil fuels USS can show leadership on climate change, and adopt a more ethically sound and financially prudent investment practice.