Hastings tug of war demonstration over fossil fuels

Fossil Free Hastings stage a tug of war between fossil fuel industriesand the climate in Hastings. Photo by Sarah Macbeth
Fossil Free Hastings stage a tug of war between fossil fuel industriesand the climate in Hastings. Photo by Sarah Macbeth
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Climate change campaigners staged a tug of war demonstration in Hastings on Saturday (February 13), to raise awareness of the council’s fossil fuel investments.

Fossil Free Hastings wants East Sussex County Council (ESCC) to rid itself of its £172m of investments in the oil, coal and gas industries.

Fossil Free Hastings stage a tug of war between fossil fuel industriesand the climate in Hastings. Photo by Sarah Macbeth

Fossil Free Hastings stage a tug of war between fossil fuel industriesand the climate in Hastings. Photo by Sarah Macbeth

Campaigners held a tug of war in the town centre to demonstrate the fight between the Earth’s climate and greenhouse gas emissions.

The group believes pensions will be hit if hard the price of fossil fuels plummet and ESCC’s investment is ruined.

Pension holder Karl Horton said: “ESCC currently has £172m of local people’s pensions invested in fossil fuels.

“These investments will lose much of their value when fossil fuel companies are compelled to leave 80 per cent of their reserves in the ground – which they must be compelled to do if we’re to have any chance of preventing catastrophic climate change.”

Two teams – one dressed in black, the other in green - vied for the future of the planet’s atmosphere, while members of the public were encouraged to pick a side and show their support for their chosen team.

Each team was egged-on by its own spokesman: Fossil Fool, representing the oil, coal and gas industries, and Di-vest, representing the earth’s climate.

The action was part of a nation-wide weekend of action organised by Fossil Free UK, which saw more than 20 actions take place across the country.

Fossil Free Hastings members are calling on ESCC to immediately freeze all new direct investments in fossil fuel industries and to commit to ridding itself of all of its current investments, direct and indirect, within the next five years.

They are also calling on Hastings Borough Council (HBC) – a contributor to the East Sussex Pension Fund – to pass a divestment motion at its April meeting.

“We urge HBC and ESCC to commit to ridding themselves of these investments, which are not only jeopardising our children’s future, but also putting local people’s pensions at risk,” Mr Horton said.

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