Campaigners call for change as more than £200m from Hampshire Pension Fund invested into fossil fuels

INVESTMENTS made to pay the pensions of local government and emergency service workers should no longer be in fossil fuels, say campaigners.

Thursday, 12th May 2022, 1:54 pm
Updated Thursday, 12th May 2022, 1:54 pm

The Hampshire Pension Fund, part of the local government pension scheme, provides pensions for council workers, school staff, police officers, firefighters and more.

But as the county council pushes towards its goal of net-zero carbon emissions, campaigners have pointed out that this fund - and it's investments - must be environmentally friendly.

Read More

Read More
Gosport mum ‘gutted’ as she narrowly misses out on £3.6m win thanks to last minu...

Sign up to our daily newsletter

More than £200m have been invested into fossil fuels. Picture John Giles/PA Wire

It comes as a consultation is launched on the future of the fund.

Christine Holloway, who co-ordinates the Hampshire Pension Fund Divest campaign, said: 'We hope that many people in Hampshire, whether they are in the pensions scheme or not, will take a few minutes to reply to the consultation.

'Support the good steps that are proposed, and ask them to make their target 1.5C.

'The 1.5C warming limit was confirmed at the Glasgow climate summit and is being urged by leading voices like Sir David Attenborough.'

Campaigners want the Hampshire Pension Fund to state the 1.5C target in its decarbonisation plan.

As of December 2021, the value of the pension fund’s investments was £9.9bn – £214m (2.2 per cent) was invested in fossil fuel companies and £323m (3.3 per cent) was invested in renewable energy.

According to the county council, one of the priorities is getting rid of thermal coal investments.

Cllr Mark Kemp-Gee, who heads up the pension fund board, said: 'Simply disinvesting from all fossil fuel companies is not a straightforward solution to tackling climate change - some fossil fuels are still important to support our daily lives and the transition to a low carbon economy, such as producing the steel to build wind turbines.

'This is not the case with thermal coal, for which suitable cleaner alternatives already exist, which is why we will be considering working with investment managers to remove investments in thermal coal from our portfolio.

'Reducing emissions from investments is not as straightforward as walking away from fossil fuel companies altogether, but our approach has already achieved a 69 per cent reduction in our carbon footprint, and we will now be considering whether we keep going until we get to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.'