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Isle of Wight Council invests £43 million pension fund in fossil fuels

County Hall, Newport.

County Hall, Newport.

Emily Pearce

[email protected]

@IWCPEmily

Thursday, November 9, 2017 - 14:46

GREEN campaigners have slammed the Isle of Wight Council for investing £43 million of its pension fund in fossil fuels.
The figure was revealed today (Thursday) by anti-oil industry campaign group Platform, which found local authorities across the UK last year invested £16.1 billion of their workers' pensions in companies that extract coal, oil and gas, fuelling dangerous climate change. 
There had been no significant change on the previous year's investments, despite increasing pressure, from the Paris Agreement for example, to take climate risk into account.
The £43 million invested by the council represents 7.74 per cent of its pension fund.
A council spokesperson said: "The Isle of Wight Council pension fund has a fiduciary duty to ensure it has sufficient funds available to pay pensions.
"In light of that obligation, and in order to maximise investment return, the fund has a diverse range of investments and does not restrict investment managers from choosing certain stocks including oil, gas and coal companies as well as renewable energy opportunities.
"The investment strategy is regularly monitored."
Local government union Unison this year called for councils to move away from investing in fossil fuels.
It said: "Local councils can take an important step forwards in challenging climate change. Reinvesting this money into renewables, housing and public transport is a feasible and sensible strategy for providing a long term return and building safe pensions for public sector workers.”

 


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