Campaigners have launched a new brochure and web tool to help members of the East Sussex Pension Fund (ESPF) lobby the county council to reinvest £172 million it currently has invested in the coal, oil and gas industries.
Members can use the new web tool to contact the chairman of the East Sussex Pension Committee, Richard Stogdon, and urge it to divest the fund from fossil fuels.
A printed brochure with a tear-off slip addressed to the Pension Committee chairman is also available free on request from Fossil Free Hastings, c/o Ore Place Farmhouse, TN34 2RA or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In April, Hastings Borough Council, a member of ESPF, passed a unanimous cross-party motion, calling on East Sussex County Council to divest the fund from fossil fuels.
Campaigner Julia Hilton said: “Hastings Borough Council employees are expected to make more than £240,000 in pension contributions to the East Sussex Pension Fund this financial year, a fund that currently has an estimated £172 million invested in the coal, oil and gas companies.
“These investments are not only damaging the balance of our climate but also pose serious financial risks to members of the fund. A growing number of major institutions across the world, including the cities of Oslo, Seattle, and Oxford, Glasgow University, and the World Council of Churches, have already decided to move their funds out of fossil fuels. We now have a real opportunity to press the East Sussex Pension Fund to follow their examples. We urge members of the Fund to visit http://tinyurl.com/divesteastsussex.”
Last month, a spokesman for the East Sussex Pension Fund said: “Money from the fund is invested in areas which generate the best return with consideration for the level of risk every investment poses. Investments are regularly reviewed taking into account a number of factors. Divesting of assets in the energy sector would mean the fund’s ability to influence the direction of individual companies and the national and international energy sector would be severely curtailed.”
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