Scotland's largest LGPS facing calls to divest from fossil fuels

The Strathclyde local government pension scheme (LGPS) has once again being urged to liquidate its oil and gas investments.

The Herald in Scotland has reported that a working group set up by Glasgow council has urged the fund to remove all assets from its books that involve fossil fuel extraction.

The working group has been formed to help Glasgow council fulfil its plan to become the first “zero-net carbon” city in the UK.

In a report, the group has said that the Strathclyde LGPS should follow the example of pension funds such as the one run for the University of Glasgow, which has undertaken a programme of divestment from investments in fossil fuel extraction.

“We have done this kind of thing before in moving away from investments in the tobacco industry and arms manufacturers, so we can do it again and we should do it for hydrocarbons,” wrote the report’s authors.

“We commend the recent call from West Dunbartonshire Council for such action and recommend that Glasgow City Council works with the other employers and members to make a wholesale shift away from investment in hydrocarbons.”

A spokesman for the Strathclyde LGPS, told The Herald that it was a strong supporter of the transition to a low carbon economy and had put climate change “at the heart” of its responsible investment strategy.

“Any pension fund should welcome engaged and committed members and we agree on the threat posed by climate change now and in the future,” said the spokesperson.

“The fund has been a leader in terms of measuring its own carbon exposure – which is below average.

“It is also progressively de-carbonising by shifting investment to renewable energy and by working together with other investors to demand better standards from industry.”

He added that the Strathclyde fund is recognised as one of the world’s most active investors in addressing climate change.

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