What we want: Climate-friendly Pensions
When we want them: NOW!
Dorset's Fossil Fuel investment must end, and end now!
Join Dorset Action on Pensions to protest the continued investment in Fossil Fuels by Dorset County Pension Fund.
There is not a single justification to keep investing pension fund members' and council tax payers' money in planet-destroying fossil fuel companies. Even the likes of Blackrock have said there is no financial drawback to divesting from fossil fuels.
We urge Dorset County Pension Fund to do the right thing environmentally, economically and morally; stop funding fossil fuel, invest in our future, a genuinely green future.
A report by Make My Money Matter (October 2021) claims that the UK pensions industry enables more CO2 than all UK carbon emissions:
“Pension schemes fund an estimated 330 million tonnes of carbon emissions every year. If the pensions industry were a country, it would find itself in the top 20 carbon emitters globally.
“making your pension green is 21x more powerful than giving up flying, going veggie and switching energy provider. It is calling on people to tell their pension providers to go green. It’s the most powerful thing you can do for the planet.”
Climate Action: www.climateaction.org/news/new-report-finds-pension-funds-enable-more-co2-than-the-entire-uk-carbon-fo
Based on research commissioned by Make My Money Matter, Pension Fund divestment will effectively de-carbonise the personal finances for approximately 80,000 Dorset pension fund members. The positive impact in terms of CO2e reduction is immense.
For every £1 invested in sustainable financial products instead of fossil fuels, a carbon (greenhouse gas) saving of 0.64Kgs is made. Therefore, divesting the circa £128 million currently invested in fossil fuels by Dorset's Pension Fund will realise a carbon saving of 83,000 tonnes of CO2!
Please join us to push for this huge positive step forward that will also add pressure on FF companies to stop extraction!
Thurs 10th March, assemble 9.30am at County Hall (Colliton Park), Dorchester, DT1 1XJ. Greet the Pension Fund Committee and ask them to make better more responsible decisions!
For more info contact Caz: email@example.com 07540 997717
The Dorset campaign continues to support South West Action on Pension's efforts. As part of a Stakeholder Consultation program a delegation of representatives from SWAP attended a meeting with Brunel Pension Partnership key personnel which included David Vickers, Chief Investment Officer; James Russell-Stracey, Chief Stakeholder Officer; Faith Ward, Chief Responsible Investment Officer; Alex Monro, Head of Communications.
This was an excellent opportunity to gain clarity on the function and influence of BPP, where decision making authority for pension investment decision is held, and to ask questions to BPP about their Climate Policy and investment strategies to limit global heating to max 1.5◦C. The agreed minutes of the meeting will be published on this site shortly, but it has become clear that BPP do not support Fossil Fuel divestment, at all, not even if that is the political will of the Council Administering the Pension Fund. Their strategy of chocie is "engagement", by this they mean, by having a stake in fossil fuel companies you can influence them to be more responsible towards the planet.....
Additional questions have been asked to BPP to understand or further clarify:
- What are the criteria that would instigate actual divestment from a company where inadequate progress towards 1.5 C / net zero 2050 is made? What would trigger a divestment decision in such a scenario?
- Regarding BPP's perceived effectiveness of engagement strategy, and stated evidence of it's success, could you please provide references to the academic and / or industry research mentioned by Faith that evidences this?
- With respect to the investment vehicles that are divested of fossil fuels, that Brunel provides to its clients, please could you provide a list of these vehicles for each of the following investment classes?
UK passive equities, Global Passive Equities, UK active equities, Global active Equities, corporate bonds, corporate debt and private equity. For each item in this list please outline precisely the criteria that is used to exclude fossil fuel investments from the vehicle.
A formal agreed summary of the discussion is below.
This Autumn we are stepping up the campaign, because for every £££ invested in fossil fuel we release more and more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, causing an increase in global temperature rise, with all its problems for life locally and across the world.
We are holding a series of events in Dorset and across the South West, as Dorset Pension Fund is in an "investment club" with 8 other Councils in the region.
If you joined us in Bristol for the South West Action on Pensions event on Friday 3rd Sept, many thanks!
Next up is the Conversation for Change event on Tuesday 6th October, 7.30pm, which will be a type of workshop with people joining from across the South West. Please do note the joining details below, and please share.
You can access the meeting via this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81192760009
JOIN US IN BRISTOL ON FRIDAY 3RD SEPT
BRING YOUR VOICE TO THIS FRIENDLY GATHERING
The next event is a South West Action on Pensions gathering in Bristol on Friday 3rd September (see details below). SWAP have recently written again to Brunel Pension Partnership asking for a meeting to discuss their climate policy and the urgent need to divest 100% from fossil fuels, and put our pension pots in future-proof, genuinely green investments. You can access a copy of the recent letter here: https://dtaction.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/SWAP-Letter-to-Brunel-Pension-Partnership-12.08.21.pdf
We have asked Brunel to meet a small group of us at their offices (101 Victoria St, Bristol), and will gather in Temple Gardens just opposite from 12 noon.
Please join our Community Conversation on Tues 22nd June, 7.30pm. This is a facilitated discussion to explore the benefits of divesting Dorset Pension Fund from fossil fuel companies, and and in doing so achieve better economic and environmental outcomes for the future. Online via Zoom or join by telephone: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87034376387 Or Phone: 0208 080 6591
A growing number of people in Dorset and across the South West understand that continued investment in fossil fuels is bad for our planet, bad for our health, bad for our future and bad for our bank account. Sir David Attenborough says it's simply crazy to carry on investing this way.
So, why does the Dorset County Pension Fund committee continue to put money into the world's worst polluters?
The Committee stated in Sept 2020 that £60 million of Dorset Pension Fund is directly invested in fossil fuels, but a recent report calculated the total investment to be £128 million (see the full picture here, enter Dorset). The Pension Fund has committed to reducing by 7% each year….that's too slow.
Campaigners have been pressing Dorset Council to act with more urgency and align the pension fund with their declared climate & ecological emergency since Sept 2019. Below is a brief summary of the efforts so far, bringing you right up to date with this campaign.
Dorset County Pension Fund (DCPF) covers fund members from both Dorset Council (DC) and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council (BCP). The Fund is administered by Dorset Council, and has has reps from both Councils, it is currently Chaired by Cllr Andy Canning from DC.
The fund is managed by Brunel Pension Partnership, on behalf of Dorset, 8 other local authorities and the Environment Agency, forming a sort of pension buyers club.
Dorset Action on Pensions campaign story so far...
- Sept 2019 first time members of the the public attend a Pension Committee meeting. MEDACT turned up to ask awkward questions about fossil fuel divestment. See Dorset Echo article: Call for fossil-fuels to be cut from £3billion pension fund
- March 2020 protestors greet Pension Committee reps and Cllr Andy Canning (Chair) on the steps of County Call, calling for fossil-free pensions. A delegation of campaigners led by Irene Stratham attend the committee meeting (Brunel Pension Partnership also present) and ask even more awkward questions about fossil fuel divestment, sparking debate, putting the climate & ecological emergency firmly on the agenda! Read all about it: Campaigners call on council to stop investing in fossil fuels and you can access the questions and answers here
- July 2020 the South West Action on Pensions (SWAP) campaign group is launched, with reps from all 9 local authorities in the Brunel buyers club. Shropshire County Council vote to divest from fossil fuels, setting a positive example, giving hope that Dorset can and will follow their lead.
- August 2020 about 30 people from a wide spectrum of local groups attend a post-lockdown (covid-compliant) protest at Dorset Council offices. On the same day events also across Somerset and in Gloucestershire to keep reminding the Pension Fund Committees of their dirty dealings and the need to divest! Check out Dorset and Somerset events.
- September 2020 first virtual Pension Committee, but public participation effectively silenced; questions submitted by the public not read out nor answered in the meeting, but they can be accessed here. The Committee has chance to vote to divest from fossil fuels, but chooses a much softer long-term decarbonisation approach, persuaded by Brunel and other financial advisors. You can read the long-winded version here.
- October 2020 SWAP writes to Brunel introducing the group and its aims, and asks Brunel for a meeting to discuss their Climate Change Policy. The letter signed by reps from all 9 local authorities in the partnership. The response received indicates Brunel have not understood the strength of this campaign or the urgency.
- November 2020 sadly Cllr Felicity Rice (Independent) from BCP and the only rep on the Pension Fund Committee to truly stand up and push for fossil fuel divestment, is replaced with Cllr Bobbie Dove (Conservative).
- February 2021 Divest UK publish an in-depth report on local authority pension investments, written by Friends of the Earth (FoE) and Platform. The report 'Divesting to protect our pensions and the planet' cites Dorset Pension Fund as one of the worst for continued investment in fossil fuel. Cllr Andy Canning provides response in The Guardian article that highlighting the concerns.
- March 2021 Dorset Action on Pensions calls for Pension Fund members to write to the Committee Chair and Brunel expressing concern and requesting their money is removed from climate-damaging, air-polluting, wildlife-reducing, future-limiting fossil fuels. PLEASE JOIN THE CAMPAIGN!
For campaign actions see column to the right.
ACT NOW! Calling all Dorset Pension Fund Members
Want a clean, fossil-free pension?
Tell Dorset Pension Fund to divest your money from fossil fuels, and invest in climate-friendly alternatives.
FOR Avon, Buckinghamshire, Cornwall, Devon, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Somerset and Wiltshire Pension Fund Committee contact details, click here and download file: Brunel Pension Partnership Council Pension Fund Committee Chairs
Please write to Dorset Pension Fund Committee Chair Cllr Andy Canning and explain why you want the committee to stop funding the planet's worst polluters. It is your money and the committee will listen if enough members call for change. By post: Cllr Andy Canning (Chair), Dorset Pension Fund Committee, 11 Alfred Rd, Dorchester DT1 2DW Email: firstname.lastname@example.org cc Brunel Pension Partnership: Faith.Ward@brunelpp.org Register that you have written to them using this form Tweet: @BrunelPP #FossilFree and let them know you want a clean green pension.
Dorset Healthcare workers say divest now!
MEDACT are a network of doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and students working hard to accelerate the transition to clean energy that is urgently needed to avert catastrophic climate change. "Climate change is affecting the health of both people and the planet right now. It will affect the most fundamental determinants of health: water, food, air and which infectious diseases we are exposed to." They say we need to divest from fossil fuels.