Wandsworth Council pension fund begins divestment from fossil fuels

Wandsworth Council’s pension fund has begun its process of reducing its investments in fossil fuels.

The fund has started decreasing its investments in UK stocks and shares to focus on global investments that it says are less carbon heavy.

Additionally, it confirmed that new investments must comply with the fund’s new decarbonisation pledge.

Last year, the council pension fund agreed to decrease its investment in stocks and shares by 5 per cent and invest in more renewable energy funds.

It has moved its equity into new investments including the Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) Future World Global Fund and committed to the London CIV Renewable Infrastructure Fund.

It has also invested in the JP Morgan Infrastructure Fund, which invests in solar and wind projects.

Commenting on the announcement, Wandsworth Council Joint Pensions Committee chairman, Guy Senior, said: “We continually strive to improve the performance of our pension fund and get the best value we can for staff members without placing any burden on taxpayers.

“We came to the conclusion last year that maximising the performance of the fund and supporting the council’s pledge to tackle global warming did not have to be mutually exclusive. We have set the target of reducing investments in stocks and shares by 5 per cent, but we will continue to review this as we suspect it will make economic sense to reduce it still further.

“Switching to environmentally-friendly investments will be a gradual process in order to minimise risk, but our equity portfolio in January was already 30 per cent below the nationally-set carbon footprint benchmark.

“We will continue to hold our fund managers to account to ensure they consider the social environmental and ethical performance of a company when deciding whether or not to invest in it.”

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