Future Generations Commissioner for Wales calls on Local Authorities to divest from fossil fuels
With £1bn of Pension Funds investment in Wales being spent on fossil fuel based companies, the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales calls on Local Authorities to demonstrate how climate risk is being incorporated into their current and future fund's investment strategy.
Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales said:
“Under the Well-being of Future Generations Act public bodies need to demonstrate how they are thinking about the social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales for now and for future generations.
“Climate change is identified as one of the biggest risks to the UK and we urgently need to reduce our carbon emissions to in order to keep global temperatures below the 2 degrees we committed to in the Paris Agreement. This will mean using all the levers available to us including the decisions of pension schemes.
“In line with the Paris Agreement, the Environment (Wales) Act and the Well-being of Future Generations Act, pension funds in Wales should be demonstrating how they are considering climate risk in their investment decisions. I want to know how they have done this and what action has been taken; in particular, has any formal advice been sought and a climate risk investment strategy been developed and implemented?
“I would also like to know if there have been discussion between the Wales Pensions Partners and the Link Asset Services and or Russell Investment on a climate risk investment strategy.
“There is a greater opportunity for Local Government Funds in Wales to be used in a way that can support investment in local infrastructure or similar projects that seek to improve local, economic, social environment and cultural well-being of people in communities in Wales.
“I welcome the recent announcement by Monmouthshire County Council who have called on the Greater Gwent (Torfaen) Fund to withdraw £245m, which is currently invested in fossil fuels. I hope that other councils will consider doing the same.”