MPs call for Parliamentary Pension Fund to divest from fossil fuels

A total of 330 current and former MPs have signed a petition calling on the trustees of the Parliamentary Pension Fund to end its investments in fossil fuel companies.

The Divest Parliament Pledge has been signed by 300 current MPs, including Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn; Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson; SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford and Conservative Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan.

The pledge states that MPs have a “responsibility to act on climate change” and “a unique opportunity” to show leadership on responsible investment.

“As MPs past and present, and members of the Parliamentary Pension Fund, we call on the Trustees to uphold their fiduciary duty and take the financial risks of climate change seriously,” says the pledge.

“We ask they quantify, disclose and review the fund’s investments in carbon-intensive industries, engage in a dialogue with fund members and managers on responsible investment, and commit to phasing out fossil fuel investments over an appropriate time-scale.”

The £700m pension scheme holds £11.6m of shares in BP and £10.9m in Royal Dutch Shell.

Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, Caroline Lucas, who has championed the initiative, said: “The climate emergency requires that we keep fossil fuels in the ground.

"I’ve been calling for fossil fuel divestment for well over five years and am encouraged by the huge number of MPs who now agree that we must move our investments away from the polluting industries of the past, and instead support policies that will bring about a clean energy future”.

Conservative MP for Somerton and Frome, David Warburton, added that pension funds have an “exciting” role to play in financing the transition to a net zero future, which parliament itself was fully committed to.

“It is really positive to see such a large group of cross party MPs coming together to pressure our pension fund trustees to phase out carbon intensive investments, and to ramp up positive investments into a green and prosperous future,” he said.

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