Labour’s climate change ‘hypocrisy' as councils invest in 'planetwrecking' fossil fuels

Posted on Dec 17 2017 - 8:32am by admin

And figures show that Labour councils nationwide invested tens of millions in environmentally-unfriendly industries – just days after Mr Corbyn and shadow chancellor John McDonnell joined a campaign to stop parliamentary pensions being staked in CO2-emitting companies.

Last week they backed Divest Parliament, a group trying to persuade the Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund to drop investments in fossil fuels, including a £5.6million stake in BP and £5million in Royal Dutch Shell shares.

The Labour leader said the UK “must show leadership in confronting the existential threat posed by climate change”.

Mr Corbyn added: “One contribution we can make as MPs is to end the investment from our pension fund in fossil fuel industries, which is why I’ve signed the pledge.

“To help protect our planet, we must wean our economy off its fossil fuel dependence and do more to move towards clean and renewable energy.” 

Yet it has emerged some Labour council pension funds have tens of millions of pounds invested in fossil fuel industries – including Mr Corbyn’s own Islington Council.

It has £48.2million invested – 3.8 per cent of the total fund value. Greater Manchester council’s pension fund has both the highest total investment and highest proportion of assets in fossil fuels of any similar fund. 

At £1,758,099,024, it is 10.2 per cent of the total fund value.

The figures were collated by the Fossil Free campaign group, which revealed them in its Fuelling the Fire report.

Labour-run councils investing in fossil fuels included in its fi ndings are: 

Durham which invests nearly £108million, or 3.7 per cent of the total fund value.

Camden’s pension fund, which invests £72million in fossil fuels, or 4.8 per cent of the total fund value.

Lambeth’s pension fund, which invests £59million in fossil fuels, or 4.4 per cent of the total fund value.

Labour-run Lewisham pension fund invests £85.6 million. 

However other local authorities, including London’s Hackney and Haringey, both of which are Labour run, have committed to cut their fossil fuel investments, according to Fossil Free.

Divest Parliament suggests putting money in to fossil fuel industries “wrecks the planet”.

Campaign literature states: “It’s wrong to profit from the wreckage, and our MPs have a crucial role to play in challenging the political power of an industry that continues to profi t from the climate chaos it creates.”

The campaign has been running for a year, with 100 MPs signing up from all parties. The two who took the total over 100 were McDonnell and Corbyn.

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