Investments in fossil fuels (oil, coal & gas) are driving climate breakdown and pose a serious financial risk to local pension holders.

Recently, North Yorkshire County Council committed to the principle of divesting its pension funds from these damaging industries. It is time to put this commitment into action and send a clear message to the fossil fuel industry.

Join us in calling on North Yorkshire County Council to divest its pension fund by the end of 2020.

Dear North Yorkshire County Councillors,

We the undersigned call on North Yorkshire County Council to fully divest its Pension Fund from holdings in fossil fuel companies by the end of 2020 and be part of a Just Transition to 100% renewable energy for all.

Fossil fuel companies are the most powerful companies on the planet, and they’re using their money, power and influence to block every serious attempt to stop climate change. Investing in these companies risks both our climate and the future value of our pensions as these investments become ever less secure.

Our local authority has a responsibility to invest local people’s money wisely. Investing in outdated, polluting industries, such as fossil fuels (oil, coal and gas), that are threatening our way of life and our pensions cannot be considered wise.

Global temperature targets agreed by world leaders can only be met if most of the existing fossil fuel reserves remain unburned and we quickly move to cleaner technology. This means that investments in fossil fuel companies will soon become ‘stranded assets’ putting our pensions at risk.

The former Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, warned that investors face ‘potentially huge’ losses from climate change action that could make vast reserves of oil, coal and gas ‘literally un-burnable’.

Over 1000 institutions, representing over $14 trillion in assets, have already committed to divest from fossil fuel companies. These include eleven UK local government pension schemes, including South Yorkshire and the largest UK pension fund (NEST).

North Yorkshire County Council Pension Fund has at least £58 million of local people’s pensions invested in fossil fuels.

It’s time to look to the future and not the past and move towards climate and financial sustainability.

Yours sincerely,

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