Campaigners took part in a global day of action on climate change on Saturday (September 8).
They were part of an estimated 250,000 people who participated in thousands of actions in 90 countries across the world as part of Rise for Climate, which is calling for a fast and fair transition to a world without fossil fuels (oil, coal and gas).
Those at the Hastings event made a push for residents to sign a petition calling on East Sussex County Council to stop investing people’s pensions in fossil fuels. The petition already has more than 3,000 signatures and requires 5,000 to force a debate at County Hall.
Emily Johns said: “We can’t keep powering our lives with dirty fuels from the last century. It’s time to repower our communities with clean, renewable energy from the sun, earth, wind and water. We need every local government and institution to commit to building 100% renewable energy and stopping new dirty energy projects in their community. Anything less than that is out of line with what science and justice demand.”
A spokesman for East Sussex Pension Fund said: “The Pension Fund has a fiduciary duty to ensure that there are sufficient assets to meet the promised retirement benefits of members when they fall due. Money from the fund is invested in areas which generate the best return with consideration for the level of risk every investment poses. External Investment fund managers are appointed to manage the investment assets of the East Sussex Pension Fund and these are regularly reviewed taking into account a number of factors.
“The Pension Fund’s investments need to deliver a sufficient return in the long-term to ensure that funds are available to meet the promised retirement benefits for its 73,000 members as well as keeping the fund affordable for all of the 130+ organisations who participate in the fund.”