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Greens urge north east pension fund to sever fossil fuel links


By Alan Beresford

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THE Scottish Greens have called for the North East Scotland Pension Fund to follow the example of the Tayside and Strathclyde Pension Funds in divesting from fossil fuels.

North East Green MSP Maggie Chapman.
North East Green MSP Maggie Chapman.

Divestment would see the fund no longer invest in high polluting industries and companies. Instead, the fund would seek to investment in clean and sustainable technologies to meet greenhouse gas emission reductions and environmental goals.

The North East Scotland Pension has an asset value of £5.7 billion and administers pensions for over 71,000 members across Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, and Moray. Earlier this year it was reported that £124 million was invested in climate-polluting fossil fuel companies.

MSP for the North East, Maggie Chapman, said: "For years Aberdeen City Council, which administers the pension fund, has made every excuse under the sun to not divest from high polluting industries.

"As more pension funds move to environmentally sustainable – and financially more rewarding – investments, Aberdeen City Council's refusal to follow suit looks more ridiculous.

"I hope that, in the year Scotland hosts COP26, and following the IPCC’s 'red alert' warning of imminent climate breakdown, the administrators of the North East Scotland Pension Fund will finally see sense and follow the positive moves being made by funds, such as the Tayside Pension Fund, in divesting from fossil fuels and high polluting industries."

In the past, the fund has also been criticised for investing in the arms trade with investment in companies such as BAE Systems, causing controversy. Scottish Greens have previously called for investments made by pension funds to also adhere to social responsibility principles.

Ms Chapman added: "Last month we remembered the massacre in Srebenica, and we continue to see the brutality of regimes, such the military dictatorship in Myanmar.

"Frankly, I think the 71,000 members for whom the North East Scotland Pension Fund aims to support would be shocked at the idea their money is helping to cause death and misery. Divestment from arms and fossil fuels would be one more step in protecting people and planet."


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