Thu 12 May, 2022

There are few actions East Dunbartonshire council can take that will have more of a positive impact than joining Glasgow and others in supporting divestment of the Strathclyde Pension Fund. Ross Greer MSP

Green MSP Ross Greer has called on newly elected councillors in East Dunbartonshire to back a campaign to divest the council’s pension funds from oil, gas and coal.

East Dunbartonshire Council is part of the massive Strathclyde Pension fund. While a number of Strathclyde councils- including West Dunbartonshire and Argyll and Bute- have followed a Green-led effort in Glasgow to divest the fund from fossil fuels, East Dunbartonshire Council has so far failed to do so. This is despite clear evidence that divesting from oil, gas and coal not only helps tackle the climate emergency, but also protects the pensions of those who rely on the fund. Friends of the Earth estimate that £46 million was lost by Strathclyde Pension Fund between 2017-20 because oil and gas companies proved to be such poor investments

The Strathclyde Pension fund, which is the largest local government pension fund in Scotland and one of the largest in the UK, had an estimated £836million invested in fossil fuels as of 2021. [2]

Following last week’s elections, councillors are currently engaging in negotiations around a new administration and opposition for East Dunbartonshire. The area’s Green MSP Ross Greer is urging those attempting to form the administration to commit to a divestment policy.

Speaking after the election results, Green MSP Ross Greer said:

“I want to congratulate all councillors elected to serve our communities. This is a critical time for governments at every level to take action to protect our planet from the unfolding climate emergency. There are few actions East Dunbartonshire council can take that will have more of a positive impact than joining Glasgow and others in supporting divestment of the Strathclyde Pension Fund. This period in which new administrations are being formed and programmes being agreed is an ideal time to make such a commitment. It would also send a strong signal to the hundreds of thousands of people whose pensions rely on this fund that the council is looking out for their best interests, given the extremely risky nature of fossil fuel investments.

“This is our opportunity to make sure that every council in the Strathclyde area clearly backs divestment, which should force the Fund itself into immediate action. Local residents should visit https://www.gcop.scot/divest-strathclyde/ to find out more, and email their new councillors to get them on board.”

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