Divesting UK council pension investments away from fossil fuels could cost tens of millions
New figures show that £1m per annum could be lost by just the GLA pension fund if it seeks to stop investing in fossil fuels, says Assembly Member Gareth Bacon.
Gareth Bacon, GLA Conservatives economics spokesman said:
"Recent calls to stop the City Hall’s pension fund from investing in fossil fuels are frankly irresponsible. At a possible loss of £25 million over 25 years this could put thousands of people severely out of pocket, and all for a mere political statement. Investment is not about making personal statements it’s foremost about making a good return for pensioners.
Picking and choosing which publically traded business is good or evil is entirely foolhardy. Continuing down this path means revaluating every investment made. After fossil fuels what’s next? Sugar, automobiles, quinoa? It’s playing with hard working people’s financial future and entirely politically driven."
Recent figures show that council pension funds in the UK have invested £14 billion in the fossil fuel sector. Divesting all these funds could cause massive loses to pensioners across the nation.
These figures will be put to Mayor Boris Johnson at the upcoming Mayor’s Question Time. At this meeting Gareth Bacon will ask for the Mayor’s assurance that no divestment will be required of the City Hall pension fund.
Notes to editor:
– The figures: Europe Economics have estimated that a fund disinvesting from fossil fuels would sacrifice the equivalent of an annual return of 0.68% pa. Applying this to LPFA’s (City Hall’s pension fund) the lost return is equivalent to approximately £1m per annum. Over a 25 year period this becomes £25m. http://www.europe-economics.com/publications/costs_to_investors_of_boycotting_fossil_fuels_-_published.pdf
– £14 billion total council pension fossil fuel investment figure from https://www.rt.com/uk/316393-pension-fossil-fuel-investment/