(ii) Councillor Grover proposed and Councillor Yates seconded the following motion:

“Council notes that:

1. The UN has warned that to limit climate change catastrophe, the world needs to reduce carbon emissions by 45% within 12 years [IPCC];

2. Because of the widely-acknowledged risk of assets becoming stranded, investors including universities, faith groups individuals, and whole cities and countries including New York and Ireland, are increasingly divesting from fossil fuel companies, and that worldwide $6 trillion has been committed to divestment [FoE, ‘Risky Business’, 2018];

3. At least 20 UK councils have already either divested or started divesting their pension funds or have passed motions in support of doing so [FoE, as above];

4. A recent report ranks Hertfordshire County Council’s Pension Fund in the worst category of Local Government funds in terms of protection against the financial risks posed by climate change, that “their failure to act is a breach of their fiduciary duty” and that “urgent action is required to rectify this” [FoE, as above];

5. The Herts Fund holds £140m in fossil fuel investments, an increase from £129m two years ago [divestherts.org];

6. The Herts Fund’s Investment Strategy Statement does not mention climate change, nor does the fund measure or manage climate risks to the fund, nor does it have a focus on opportunities in the low carbon sector;

7. St Albans District aims through the Green Triangle to be a leading player in the growing low carbon sector;

8. The ‘Divest Herts’ grass roots campaign has asked Hertfordshire Pension fund to stop investing in fossil fuel companies, divest completely from these industries, and invest instead in low carbon alternatives [divestherts.org].

This Council resolves:

To instruct the Chief Executive to write to the Hertfordshire Pension Fund Committee asking the Committee to follow best practice by:

i. adding a clear statement to their published strategy that climate change constitutes financial risks to the fund

ii. measuring these risks and developing a strategy for managing them

iii. reducing instead of increasing the fund’s exposure to fossil fuel companies, especially those in extraction

iv. focusing its company engagement on sectors where meaningful progress in reducing their climate risk is possible

v. setting clear goals for reinvesting in the local low carbon economy

and asking the Committee to provide a written response to this motion.”

Upon the motion being put to the vote it was declared LOST.

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