Exclusive: First UK Council to Promise Full Divestment Still Has Tens of Millions Invested in Fossil Fuels

Read time: 5 mins
Waltham Forest Divest

Waltham Forest Council still has tens of millions of pounds invested in fossil fuel companies – including BP and Shell – two-and-a-half years after pledging to divest its pension fund.

What Norway’s Big Divestment Decision Means for Fracking, Tar Sands and Global Oil Exploration

Read time: 7 mins
Bergen, Norway

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund — a state-owned investment fund worth approximately a trillion dollars — recently announced it was divesting from oil and gas exploration companies around the world. Not surprisingly, many oil and gas stocks declined following the announcement.

While this is good news for the climate, this was simply a smart business decision. Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, known as the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), primarily exists due to Norwegian oil production. And the fund will continue to be a major investor in companies like Exxon.

It appears it’s just cutting its losses on money-losing endeavors like fracking in America, tar sands oil production in Canada, and frontier exploration by UK companies in Africa and South-East Asia.

Church of England Urged to Divest from Oil and Gas Companies at Synod

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Campaigners demand Church of England divest from fossil fuels

The Church of England’s approach to climate action has come under the spotlight ahead of its general meeting as pressure mounts for it to divest from all fossil fuel companies.

The general Synod will vote on a motion to reaffirm the Church’s existing strategy to engage with oil and gas companies and urge them to take more ambitious climate action when it meets in York later this week.

But campaigners said the motion was not going far enough and tabled an amendment calling on the Church to threaten to divest from fossil fuel companies if they are not on “an unequivocal path” to align their business models to the Paris Agreement goals by 2020.

The call for the Church to strengthen its stance on fossil fuel investments comes after Pope Francis urged big oil including Exxonmobil, Eni, Shell and BP to make a faster transition to clean energy.

Opinion: Divestment is Not Just 'Pointless Posturing', It Will Save Taxpayers Cash

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Divest protest

Jan Zeber, an analyst for right-leaning think tank and 55 Tufton St resident, TaxPayers Alliance, argued that divestment is ineffective and bad value for the taxpayer in an article for CapX, an outlet founded to “make the case for popular capitalism”.

Here, two campaigners involved in the divestment movement respond.

Mapped: The UK Universities that have Pledged to Divest from Fossil Fuels

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divestment protest

Are you a student thinking about where to go to university? Do you care about the environment, and companies whose activities are responsible for climate change?

There is a sense of momentum among the UK movement urging universities to divest from fossil fuels, and reinvest in low carbon technologies, which has been gaining traction since 2012.

Universities are major investors. Campaigners are trying to use this fact to encourage institutions to withdraw their support for the fossil fuel industry by selling their shares in dirty energy companies — also known as divestment.

UK Council Pensions Investing £16.1 Billion In Fossil Fuels

Read time: 4 mins
UK council pensions investing in fossil fuels

There has been no significant reduction in the level of fossil fuel investment by local council pensions since the Paris climate deal was agreed two years ago, according to new data.

The research, compiled by environmental groups 350.org, Platform, Energy Democracy Project and Friends of the Earth, shows that councils currently have £16.1bn of their workers’ pensions invested in oil, gas and coal companies. This represents 5.5 percent of their total investments, worth £287.9bn.

While the value of these investments has increased since 2015 (when the market value represented £14bn), the proportion of the pension funds invested in fossil fuels has stayed about the same.

Mayor's Divestment Pledge '100 percent' Does Not Commit London to Divest from Fossil Fuels

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City Hall London

The Mayor of London and the London Pension Fund Authority (LPFA) have agreed a strategy to “divest” assets worth around £10 billion from fossil fuel companies, DeSmog UK can reveal.

The agreement seemingly fulfills Mayor Sadiq Khan’s campaign promise to strip the fund “of its remaining investments in fossil-fuel industries”.

But campaigners have been quick to criticise the announcement, saying the pledge’s small print means it is unlikely to mean funds are actually removed from fossil fuel companies — the core aim of the divestment movement.

How Faith Groups in the UK Have Been Calling for Fossil Fuel Divestment

Read time: 11 mins
church of England divest protest

Faith communities have lent a moral voice in the global divestment movement, building powerful grassroots campaigns permeating all aspects of society and heightening the case to keep fossil fuels in the ground.

Across many religions, there are strong links between the idea of the creation of the world and of men and the catastrophic impact climate change could have on humanity.

Activists within faith groups have been critical in highlighting these links and urging for ambitious action to be taken to keep average global temperature rise below 1.5C as recommended by scientists.

Five Reasons 2016 Was Actually Quite Good for the UK’s Climate and Energy Policy

Read time: 3 mins
Offshore wind turbines

From Brexit to Trump, it may seem like 2016 was a bit of a disaster in the climate arena.

But look closely enough and you’ll see it wasn’t all bad news in Britain.

DeSmog UK takes you through five positive things that happened for clean energy and climate policy this year.

Campaigners Tell Barclays, ‘You Frack My Home, We’ll Move Into Yours’

Read time: 2 mins
Fracking campaigners outside Barclays in Piccadilly Circus London

Despite fracking’s popularity being at an all time low, companies are still pouring money into the controversial practice.

Some of the once shadowy companies are now becoming familiar names. Cuadrilla is probably the best known, having recently had its plans for shale gas development in Lancashire forced through by an ever-willing government.

But behind those doing the drilling is a complex financing web, with investors often taking solace in being in the shadows.


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