£128bn of pension money invested in fossil fuels

UK pension schemes have an estimated £128bn invested in fossil fuels, representing around £1,916 for every person in the UK, according to research from Friends of the Earth.

The report, Polluted Pensions? Clearing the air around UK pensions and fossil fuels, found that a typical investment in fossil fuels by a pension scheme was 4.3 per cent, which if applied to all pension schemes would represent a total investment of around £128bn.

In addition to this, the report found that nearly half (48 per cent) of the UK’s 27 largest pension schemes published no information around their investments, with only seven publishing detailed information about their investments.

It also concluded that "none [of the schemes] had made a full commitment to divest from fossil fuels".

Friends of the Earth spokesperson, Rianna Gargiulo, commented: “With mere days until the UK hosts the UN Climate Change Conference and at a time when public concern about climate change is consistently growing, this report shows that pension funds are desperately lagging behind on climate action.

“Beyond that, pension funds are also playing fast and loose with workers' hard-earned contributions by continuing to invest them in an industry in decline.

“Anyone shocked to hear that their pension may be heavily invested in fossil fuel polluters should write to their pension fund, ask about its investments in the industry and call on it to divest.”

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