Pensions Funds: A growing frontier in the battle for a fairer world
Pension funds in the UK have £3 trillion invested in the wider economy on behalf of pension savers. These are funds which can and should be put to good, productive use.
But it is estimated that, in the UK, 55% of this money is invested directly or indirectly into fossil fuels – oil, gas, coal – the carbon that needs to stay in the ground if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change.
The movement to use our pension investments more wisely is growing – globally. Bodies such as the United Nations, the World Bank, and the British Medical Association (BMA) have all called for divestment from fossil fuels.
Universities, including Stanford (US), have started to divest. So have 26 cities across the world. This September 2014, Oxford City Council became the UK’s first.
Instead of going into fossil fuels, this money could be used to much more productive use, such as building renewable energy generation, or creating thousands of local jobs to insulate our homes and improve our transport systems.
ShareAction is a national campaign that wants to bring these investments into the spotlight and use them to kick start a transition to a greener, fairer world. Read about ShareAction’s ‘Green Light’ campaign. Find there more questions about the socially, ethically and environmentally responsible investment that is possible, and about the pioneering funds that are leading the way.
But also: Are your savings safe in fossil fuels?
Fossil fuels may look to pension fund managers like good returns for now – but are they safe, for how long? It may well be that, as the world has to shift to renewable energy, these investments become a big risk. This is known as the ‘Carbon Bubble’. It is another reason for pension-fund holders to question those who manage their money.
Your savings are powerful! Let’s use the billions for a better future and protect the planet.