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South Lanarkshire Council Passes Divestment Motion

Today, Wednesday 28th September 2022, Cllr Kirsten Robb (Scottish Green Party, East Kilbride East), presented a motion to the full council calling for South Lanarkshire’s money to be invested for positive change and not contribute to the climate and ecological crises (the full text of the motion can be found here). The motion, which was supported by the majority of councillors, asked the council to write to Strathclyde Pension Fund calling on it to divest from fossil fuels as soon as possible and for the council to develop a Responsible Investment Policy of its own.  This summer many of us witnessed the catastrophic events of climate change on our own doorstep from excessive heatwaves and droughts in Scotland, to wildfires across Europe and the Americas, and floods in Pakistan.

The Climate Crisis has never been more apparent. Yet Strathclyde Pension Fund continues to invest in the very businesses driving climate change and environmental disaster. Pension fund members and council bodies have repeatedly called for their pension funds to be invested ethically. Other major pension funds have divested from fossil fuels, realising that their fiduciary duty requires ethical, environmental and social responsibilities as well as financial return to protect the long-term interests of their individual investors. South Lanarkshire must use its money for positive change.

The current cost of living crisis stems from our over reliance on fossil fuels, and on the damaging business practices of the fossil fuel industry. Divesting from fossil fuels would free up those funds to drive community wealth building and to invest in ventures that seek climate and ecological action. We need these investments for a brighter future. In short, improving the lives of the people of South Lanarkshire.

“I brought this motion to help secure a safer and better future for pension fund members and future generations. Ensuring our pension and council funds are invested responsibly, in projects that address the climate and ecological crisis and other local positive changes, rather than fueling the problems, is key. I’m delighted to have secured the support of the majority of Councillors to help achieve this.”

Cllr Kirsten Robb

“’It’s great to see South Lanarkshire join councils across the Strathclyde region in supporting ending fossil fuel investments and reinvesting in positive alternatives. Trustees of the Strathclyde Pension Fund take note: divesting from fossil fuels makes moral and financial sense that councils, employers and unions across the region clearly see. In this time of escalating climate crisis, we need you to accept this mandate for action and commit to ending fossil fuel investments”

Divest Starthclyde

Cllr Robb would like to thank Unison Scotland and Divest Strathclyde for their support and guidance.