4 August 2019
Green Party Suffolk County Councillor and Pension fund committee member Robert Lindsay has been campaigning for more environmentally-friendly investments for some time and last week the Pension Fund committee agreed to transfer into a UBS Climate Aware World Equity Fund.
The UBS Climate Aware Equity Fund is a rules-based fund which applies a “tilt” positive or negative depending on how “green” the companies are. The fund also pursues a climate aware voting and engagement policy with companies that most need to adapt their business models in order to meet globally agreed climate change goals.
The investment has been transferred from the council's £2.9billion passive equity investments fund - investments which are held long term to reduce fees associated with frequent buying and selling.
Councillor Robert Lindsay said: "I'm delighted the committee has taken this first step into moving money away from the fossil fuel industry.
"This is the first action the county has taken in this direction since we declared a climate emergency four months ago and I believe it is the first acknowledgement by Suffolk pension committee that we need to take account of the climate crisis in the way we invest the money, so it is a very significant principle that has been established.
"In financial terms this a relatively baby step, but I very much hope that we will move more of the fund into low carbon before the end of the year and that quite soon, the whole fund can be de-carbonised.
"We were very careful to check that taking this step would not significantly affect performance of the fund."
Extinction Rebellion, who recently gave a demonstartion outside Suffolk County Council Offices has already called for investments in fossil fuel firms to be withdrawn and a carbon-friendly pot to be established instead.
As of March this year, the council's largest single-company investment of pension funds was in Royal Dutch Shell, with that fund at £23.6m
credits EADT and image Okan Caliskan (pixabay.com)
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