Divestment

Around £3 trillion is invested in UK pensions. This money belongs to us, yet we often have very little idea about where it is invested. UK pension funds have an estimated £128 billion invested in fossil fuels, equivalent to nearly £2,000 for every person in the UK.

UK local government pensions alone still held £9.7 billion of investments in fossil fuel companies in the 2019/20 financial year. That means workers’ pensions are accelerating dangerous climate change. They are overly risky long term investments and they funnel capital out of local lives, jobs and economies into corporate profits of the likes of BP and Shell.

By divesting from fossil fuels, these pensions can create jobs and boost local economies, as well as for take control of wealth back from unaccountable investment management firms.

In 2017 UNISON’s national delegate conference passed a ‘divest from carbon’ motion, committing the union to support campaigns to ensure that LGPS pension funds take climate change seriously (2019 update report) and several local and regional branches have been actively involved in campaigning for local government pension divestment.

Divestment campaign resources

Make My Money Matter - This website is useful to help you to understand how pensions work, what they invest in and the impact switching can have. If you want to know how do divest your own pension, follow these four steps.

Map of local campaign groups

Find out how much your council is investing in fossil fuels

Introduction to local government pensions

Local government pension scheme briefing

Further resources

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