Local government pension funds are the single biggest public store of wealth in Scotland, so decisions like this can make a big difference.Kim Long
This afternoon Glasgow City Council overwhelmingly voted for a Scottish Green motion to end its pension fund investments in fossil fuels.
The Strathclyde Pension Fund, which GCC is part of, has over £500 million worth of holdings in fossil fuel companies. As well as having its employees being covered by the fund, GCC is also the fund administrator, on behalf of the SPF trustees.
The motion was part of the budget agreement between the SNP administration the Scottish Green Party and sets a major precedent for other local authority pension funds.
Green Party Councillor Kim Long, who moved the motion on April 1st, said: "We are delighted that our motion was supported and that Glasgow City Council voted so overwhelmingly to stop investing in the fossil fuels that are destroying our planet. We know that in Glasgow, the climate crisis will impact the poorest communities the hardest - and all the money the city plans to spend on mitigating this damage is wasted if we keep pouring money into the very thing we know is making the problem worse.
"Local government pension funds are the single biggest public store of wealth in Scotland, so decisions like this can make a big difference. We need to stop fuelling the crisis, and instead invest in a Green recovery to create the fairer, greener Glasgow we need."
Isla Scott from Divest Strathclyde, which has campaigned in support of the move, said:
"After years of campaigning, we are very happy and relieved that Glasgow councillors are showing the climate leadership that the city needs as we head towards COP26. The continued investment of over £500 million in fossil fuels was abhorrent, and cannot be justified in a climate crisis. These kind of toxic investments risks pensioners’ money being lost in stranded assets, money that could be better invested in funding climate solutions and a just transition to a green economy.
"It is now up to the leaders of Strathclyde Pension Fund to decide to follow the clear direction set out by Glasgow City Councillors at today's vote and begin the process to remove the pension fund's investments in climate-wrecking fossil fuel companies."