Valerie signs the Divest Parliament Pledge

I signed Fossil Free’s Divest Parliament Pledge calling for the trustees of the MPs Pension Fund to phase out the fund’s investments in fossil fuel companies owing to environmental and financial concerns about climate change.

Divestment (the opposite of investment) in fossil fuel businesses tackles the climate crisis, and recognises that the practices of fossil fuel companies lead to increased greenhouse gas emissions. These emissions must be radically reduced by 2030 if we are to prevent a climate breakdown.

Long-term investment in companies like BP, Shell and Exxon Mobil undermines the transition to the zero-carbon economy which we rapidly need to bring about.

The Environmental Audit Committee has warned that investors in fossil fuel companies are at risk due to overvalued carbon assets as the world transitions to renewable energy sources. This puts people’s pensions at risk.

Over 250 MPs have now signed the pledge, which reads:

“Unmitigated climate change threatens to undermine our economy, shared environment and global security. Under the UK’s Climate Change Act and the Paris Agreement, the UK is committed to limiting warming to well below 2C and to aim for no more than 1.5C. This requires leaving the vast majority of fossil fuel reserves unburnt, creating the real possibility of fossil fuel assets becoming stranded – with profound implications for the global economy.
“We believe Members of Parliament have a responsibility to act on climate change, and a unique opportunity to show leadership on climate action, responsible investment and the management of climate risk through addressing the practices of our own pension fund.
“As MPs past and present, and members of the Parliamentary Pension Fund, we call on the Trustees to uphold their fiduciary duty and take the financial risks of climate change seriously. We ask they quantify, disclose and review the fund’s investments in carbon-intensive industries, engage in a dialogue with fund members and managers on responsible investment, and commit to phasing out fossil fuel investments over an appropriate time-scale.”

You can find out more about climate change and the organisation Fossil Free here.