Green Councillors push Mayor to take action on fossil fuel funds
Green Councillors submitted a motion to the Full Council meeting on March 19 calling on Bristol’s Labour Mayor to meet with the head of Avon Pension Fund and discuss divestment of funds away from fossil fuel industries within five years.
Despite a similar Green motion passed in 2015 the Avon Pension Fund continues to hold significant investments in fossil fuel industries.
A recent UN study found that resource extraction industries are responsible for half of the world’s carbon emissions and more than 80% of biodiversity loss. Bristol’s branch of local government union UNISON (the second largest union in the UK) also backs the campaign for pension fund divestment.
The motion was proposed by Green councillor for Redland Martin Fodor.Councillor Fodor said: “We thought we’d see action on this back in 2015 and now the stakes are rising as the climate breakdown is emerging. Thousands of people in the city are calling for action to protect our climate but the funds behind many local pensions are still locked up in oil, gas and coal companies.
“We’ve been supporting and ‘engaging’ with fossil fuel industries rather than actually divesting from them for decades but this approach has clearly got us nowhere. It’s time to stop funding them – all they ever do is ask for government subsidies and tax credits to drill new wells and mine more coal – it’s time our pension fund saw this doesn’t work and put our money where needed for the future, and refused to fund these big polluters. Instead we have the potential to put these funds to work to create the future we need, with energy efficiency, clean power, and smart systems that will help run the economy.”
An update on the response to the proposal will be included in the May edition of Bishopston Voice.