Medact Dorset is a group of local health workers campaigning to put pressure on the Dorset Pension Fund Committee to STOP investing in fossil fuels (Divestment).
If you are due to receive a council pension one day, you may be interested to know that your pension fund is heavily investing in fossil fuels.
- Currently up to £141million is invested in the fossil fuel industry.
- This industry contributes over 700 gigatonnes of CO2, which is a significant driver of global warming.
- This in turn has hugely harmful effects on our health.
- By reducing our dependence on fossil fuels we can protect our health and the health of future generations.
Not only will divestment have environmental benefits, there is good evidence that pension funds moving their money out of fossil fuel investments are performing better.
Ahead of the next council meeting, we need YOUR help to ramp up pressure on councillors to support fossil fuel divestment. Sign this open letter now and share with colleagues and friends employed by the council!
As a Dorset resident and future recipient of the council pension, I want to express my concern about our council’s investments in fossil fuel companies. BCP and Dorset councils, through The Dorset County Pension Fund, are investing approximately £141 million in the fossil fuel industry. This is fuelling the climate crisis and having devastating impacts on human health.
Just 100 fossil fuel companies have been responsible for more than 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions since 1988. Fossil fuel driven climate change is already impacting the health of millions and threatens to reverse the last half century of gains in global health. Fossil fuels are also a major contributor to air pollution, which kills 7 million people every year according to the World Health Organisation. This is similar to the number of deaths caused by tobacco each year. I cannot stand by as my local government pension fund invests in such a dangerous and damaging industry.
I am also very concerned that the fossil fuel investments will soon drop in value, as the world transitions to a low carbon energy system. Recent developments have shown fossil fuel investments to be unreliable and vulnerable. Indeed, investors are already shunning oil and gas stocks due to underperformance. By remaining invested in fossil fuels you are putting our pensions at risk, which is a breach of your fiduciary duty.
- Dorset and BCP Councils have declared a climate emergency and have made a formal commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2030. We ask you to honour this by committing to the following action:
- Immediately freeze any new investment in fossil fuel companies, including those made by externally managed and pooled funds.
- Divest from the top 200 companies with the largest known carbon reserves (oil gas and coal) as soon as possible and by 2021 at the very latest.