Fossil Free Shropshire Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign

A Fossil-Free Shropshire Pension Fund

Shropshire County Pension Fund holds an estimated £294m in fossil fuel company shares. We are campaigning for the pension fund to sell these shares and use the money instead to make investments in the green and local economies, helping to build a financially- and environmentally-sustainable Shropshire. Given that Shropshire Council has declared a climate emergency, it is unethical and unsustainable for the council's pension fund to be invested in polluting fossil fuels which are contributing to the emergency.

Whether you are an individual member of the pension fund or a Shropshire resident, you can take action by writing to members of the Pension Fund Committee, who have responsibility for its investment policy.

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Why do these investments matter?

Investments in fossil fuels are investments in climate change. Only rapid action to reduce carbon emissions can prevent catastrophic climate change, so these investments should be replaced by ones which help to reduce - rather than increase - emissions.

Investments in fossil fuels are financially risky. We know that most known fossil fuel reserves have to stay "in the ground" to prevent the worst of climate change. The market value of fossil fuel companies is based largely on the notion that all known reserves can be exploited. This means that as global efforts to combat climate change ramp-up there will a large reduction in their share prices, reducing the value of the pension fund.

The Shropshire County Pension Fund is underwritten by local service providers. All Shropshire local authorities as well as many other local service providers are members of the pension fund. Because they underwrite the pension fund, the financial risks of fossil fuel investments are ultimately borne by them. This means that local services could be at risk if they have to increase their contributions to make up for financial losses.

Information produced regularly by FTSE shows us that investment portfolios which exclude fossil fuel companies perform at least as well as those that include them.

Local investments could be made which bring economic, social and environmental benefits to Shropshire. There is great potential for investigation by the pension fund of opportunities for making local investments in sustainable projects.

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