‘We strongly urge the council to move its shares out of fossil fuels now.” That was the stark message from Divest Hackney campaigners addressing the council’s Pension Fund board on Monday 19 September. A new shares audit showed that the
19 September, Divest Hackney will lobby the six members of the Hackney Council Pension Fund to sell off its £42 million shareholding in fossil fuel companies. There’s a strong case for action – as this blog argues – both financial and environmental. Deutsche Bank reports that companies respecting environmental and social issues ‘constantly outperform the market.’ While fossil fuel shares represent a fraction of the pension fund’s £1.1 billion assets, there’s evidence of corrupt, unsustainable or unethical business activities in this portfolio that really doesn’t sit easily with the council’s sustainable communities’ strategy.
Repowering, Community Energy England, Energy for London and 10:10 are holding a new community energy event on 8th September, 9am to 1pm at The City Centre – 80 Basinghall Street, London, EC2V 5AR.
Update: Divest Hackney – 19 September!
On 19 September Divest Hackney is challenging Hackney Council’s pension’s committee to sell its shareholdings in fossil fuel companies. If we’re heading for a heated debate in the council chamber, think of this: 14 of the 15 hottest years on record have occurred since 2000. A new risk assessment from the independent Committee on Climate Change says the threat level is rising, and more action is required from local and national government. So what risks are we looking at? And is there a plan?
Globally, 14 of the 15 hottest years on record have occurred since 2000. The impacts of climate change are already being felt in the UK. Urgent action is required to address climate-related risks. So how reckless was Theresa May’s to abolish the energy and climate change department (DECC)? Just a few days earlier the government ‘promised’ to meet a tough new target to cut our greenhouse gas emissions – by 57% by 2030. Although recommended by the independent Committee on Climate Change (CCC), at best the target would be difficult to meet this target – and that was before they scrapped the energy department. So now what? If government can’t be trusted to tackle the climate crisis, isn’t it time we did so? A time for energy democracy?
Could Hackney Council do this? Swindon Borough Council has raised £1.8m for the UK’s first council solar bond a month ahead of its deadline. It’s a landmark project that could kick-start a new wave of community energy projects.
Paul Hampton’s new book opens with an arresting metaphor: “If the owl of Minerva takes flight only as dusk begins to fall, then human society may have already missed the opportunity to avoid dangerous climate change.” Minerva is the Roman name for the Athena, the goddess of wisdom. Paul writes in the hope that it is not too late, bringing a strong conviction that working people and their trade unions can play a vital role in global political efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.