As always there are a number of things to share with you.
Let’s start with the weather and the flooding in Cumbria. The climate scientists have been forecasting that the unusual would be happening more frequently and that we would get more extreme variations of the weather. This is happening all over the world, in different ways, but now we have the flooding in Cumbria. Somehow the politicians have to realise that we cannot afford to procrastinate over the climate issue, and we must respond at a global level.
At least 4 people from Derby are going across to fringe meetings in Paris this week and some of us will be reporting back to anybody who is interested at
the Council House, room 11,
between 6pm and 7 pm, on Wednesday 16 December.
Mince pies will be available and hopefully mulled wine. Do come and join us!
Steering group meeting
There will be a short steering group meeting just before, at 5.45pm to be precise, which will look at other activities, and review, in particular, the campaign to get the council to get divest our pension funds from fossil fuels.
Council gives a tepid answer to divestment
Here is the question, from Peter Robinson, put to the council at its meeting on Wednesday November 25 (This is the link)
“Considering that 80 per cent of all known fossil fuels must stay in the ground to avoid warming by more than two degrees, as well as the need to ensure
pension funds are not left in these potentially stranded assets, will the Council recommend that the Derbyshire County Council Pension Fund:
Immediately freeze any new investments in fossil fuels?
Divest from direct ownership and any commingled funds that include fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds within 5 years?
And here is the answer from Councillor Banwait.“Derbyshire Pension Fund is a member of the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF) which promotes, through engagement, high standards of corporate governance and corporate responsibility amongst the companies in which Local Government pension funds invest. A strategy of engagement with companies is compatible with the Administering Authority’s fiduciary duty to maximise investment returns for the benefit of Scheme members, and supports responsible investment. The Fund supports engagement with fossil fuel companies to help accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy.”
In “supporting engagement with fossil fuel companies” are they not allowing these companies to accelerate their own agendas and set their own standards?
THIS IS COMPLETE WAFFLE; IT AS IS IF IT HAS BEEN PRODUCED BY A MACHINE.
It is tantamount to saying that in the nineteenth century we should have invested in companies which traded slaves, because that is the best way to influence them.
Instead of blowing a fuse about the complete lack of moral and ethical insight we pointed out that even the Financial Times has been talking about the enormous risk of investing in fossil fuels companies, the risk of wasting two £trillion of investors money. We asked “would you not agree that the best way to influence fossil fuel companies is to pull our investments out.”
Councillor Bainwait made some nice comments about the Climate Coalition but said that the Council had very little influence upon the Derbyshire pension fund; he acknowledged that we had two councillors on the board.
50,000 people marched in London Sunday the 29th of November, focusing upon the climate demanding immediate and significant action to prevent 2 degree climate warming. The coach from Derby was full and the picture shows our two youngest passengers.
Here also is a link to a fantastic set of photos, from around the world. Furthermore there were other local protests in Derbyshire, including Belper and we are told more than 200 people took part in a march, behind an image of the Eiffel tower, in Chesterfield on the Saturday. Incidentally they had a meeting of 80 people in the run-up to the march and have set up a new climate alliance.