On the eve of an international summit on climate finance, 100 MPs including Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith call on the Parliamentary Pension Fund to drop investments in oil, coal and gas companies.
Jeff is among a cross-party group of 100 MPs who demand that their £612 million MPs’ Pension Fund removes its substantial holdings from fossil fuel companies to reflect their concerns about climate change.
The Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund (PCPF) continues to invest millions of pounds of MPs’ savings in fossil fuel companies. Both BP (£5.6 million) and Shell (£4.9 million) are among the fund’s top 20 holdings - along with mining firm Rio Tinto, British American Tobacco and Amazon -which were made available for the first time in March 2017.
This week, Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell became the 99th and 100th MPs to sign the Divest Parliament pledge. This milestone comes as 50 heads of state, including UK Prime Minister Theresa May, arrive in Paris for an international summit on climate change and finance.
MPs are responding to a rising call for divestment, with over 800 organisations and investors worth over $5 trillion having already committed to divest from fossil fuels.
Jeff said: “Two years on from the Paris agreement, and with the devastating impacts of climate change already apparent, there is no room for continued investment in companies whose business is incompatible with our climate obligations.
Divesting from fossil fuels would be a great way for MPs to show leadership on the issue of climate change, and send a clear message that we must move away from fossil fuels in order to save our planet.”
Patrick Killoran (22) from the Divest Parliament campaign said:
‘Like the rest of my generation, I’m deeply concerned about the impacts of climate change here and around the world. It’s great to see MPs listening to their constituents and showing political leadership on climate action.
Investing in companies such as BP and Shell, who continue to dig for more fossil fuels and lobby against climate policy to line executives’ pockets, is dangerous and wrong.
I hope more MPs will join those committing to Divest Parliament today, and prioritise concrete action to build a clean, fair energy system for all.’