Derbyshire County Council Pension Fund has £290 million invested in fossil fuel industries, including Royal Dutch Shell, BP and Rio Tinto. Fossil fuel industries make up nearly 6% of the pension fund. A year ago Derby Climate Coalition asked the Derby City Council if it had any funds invested in fossil fuels industries and the answer was a resolute NO.
However the Council failed to mention they are part of the County Council Pension Fund.
We are calling upon the City Council to use its influence on the County Council to divest from fossil fuels. Our Council is represented on the board of the pension fund!
In order to stop the global climate warming by 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and avert global catastrophe, 80% of all known fossil fuels must stay in the ground. By removing investments in fossil fuel companies Derbyshire County Council will be showing its commitment to creating a healthy, sustainable future for both the people of Derbyshire and the planet as a whole.
There is also a financial argument to divest from fossil fuels. It is becoming more expensive both to find and to extract the remaining fuel deposits, while renewable energy technology is becoming more efficient and less expensive. The political pressure to leave as much of our fossil fuels in the ground creates a risk of stranded assets (worthless fuel stocks that regulation will prevent from being burned) very real. [See www.carbontracker.org/report/wasted-capital-and-stranded-assets/]
People and institutions that own shares in fossil fuel companies will see the value of their investments decrease.
What you can do:
More than 100 people rally to support the UK Climate envoy to the UN talks in Paris
On Thursday November the 5th John Selwyn Gummer – now Lord Deben – addressed a meeting of more than 100 people at Derby Cathedral. An outspoken voice on climate change, Lord Deben chairs the Independent Committee on Climate Change and will be representing the UK at the Paris 2015 conference.
He spoke very well, countering the sceptics. He kept reminding us of how important the Climate Act was and what a lead Britain had given the world. He attributed some of this to the fact that Margaret Thatcher was a scientist, who recognised the threat from climate change, and insisted on telling things as they were. He stressed the need to look at evidence, at what is happening, to be sceptical in the best sense, and not to get distracted by ideology. He was clear that the Paris talks would be a step forward but nevertheless taking on board all the promises from the various Governments it looks like we will be heading for 2.7 degrees of warming, which, in short, is intolerable. He also said that the 2C degrees ceiling was somewhat arbitrary. He inferred that Government policies will lock us in to emissions way higher than what could be compatible with 2C temp rise, but that is what the Committee on Climate Change is addressing, see for example http://www.carbonbrief.org/ccc-uk-wind-and-solar-will-be-cheaper-than-gas-by-2020. He was pleased about the changes of Prime Minister in Australia, the change of Government in Canada and the fact that the USA and China are grappling with the issue far more seriously that one might have foreseen a little while ago. He stressed that he was a Catholic, and says that the stand by the Pope was enormously significant, especially as a challenge to the republicans in the USA who want label climate change as some sort of pro-communist plot.
But he didn’t seem to do that well when it came to the questions. He said that issue with renewables was that they had been much more successful than predicted, for example off shore wind farms were giving a return of 40% not the 29% forecast, and this created a problem for the chancellor. Maybe he was being politic; but we didn’t hear him say that he was ‘concerned that a stream of recent cutbacks to subsidies for solar and onshore wind power generation had hit the confidence of those who might be willing to invest in green technology’ The quote is from him is in the Observer, just 4 days later.
He said that we must skew the argument around fracking; that would divert attention away from the main need, to cut CO2, and keep the temperature rise down. But his point was that government policy was strategic. You are producing CO2 whether you get it from one source or from the other. The government wants nuclear energy for the same reason.
He argued that evidence from fracking was that it is safe, and reminded us that we need to look at the evidence. (Many supporters of the Derby Climate Coalition would argue that the evidence of coming through large scale longitudinal studies shows that the evidence shows otherwise; see for example http://www.foe.co.uk/sites/default/files/downloads/why-uk-fracking-not-compatible-with-tackling-climate-change-86338.pdf). He talked about the need to ensure that we had supplies of gas, and talked about the dangers of being dependent upon Putin. (Incidentally Caroline Lucas says is can come from Norway, and that the best option is to import in the short term and invest in alternatives). He didn’t seem to hear the heckler who said that fracked gas is a fossil fuel, the implication being that we have to keep all fossil fuels in the ground.
Above all Lord Deben seemed to have little to say about building a movement from below that keeps the pressure on the politicians. But then we wouldn’t have expected that from him.
Thank you to the organisers for putting on this event.
Can you join the March in London?
There are moments in history when the very act of people coming together can force change.Sunday 29th November, the People’s Climate March, could be one of those moments. Will you be part of it?
In just over three weeks time world leaders are coming together for the biggest climate meeting of the decade. The day before they meet, people across the globe will take to the streets. It’ll be the biggest climate march in history – aimed at convincing politicians to do what’s needed.
It’s a huge task to drown out the lobbying power of the super-rich dirty coal and oil industries. Which means thousands of us need to hit the streets.
Our coach leaves Belper at 8.30 am (Cox’s depot, Goods Rd, Belper DE56 1UU- car parking available) and Derby Full Street (near the Council House) at 9.00 am. It is expected that we will sell most tickets at £7.50 but if you can afford it please buy the £15 full price ones and there are few £1 tickets. As we are subsiding this coach to the tune of £200 donations are welcome.
Details are subject to fine tuning and further information will be sent out to those who register. Please register here: https://nov29derbyandbelpercoach.eventbrite.co.uk
Lancashire Nanas against Fracking speak in Derby
The Indian Women’s Association asked us to speak on fracking. At very short notice the famousLancashire Nanas against Fracking were able to come to speak to about 25 people, and the talk was translated into Hindi. The nanas are headscarf-wearing group of women faced up to Cuadrilla and became the frontline against fracking in Lancashire.
In the meantime our coalition, along with 38 Degrees, are helping to co-ordinate fracking groups across Derbyshire. Here is the Facebook link https://www.facebook.com/groups/748507891960657/758082444336535/