York Green Party

Council backs Green Party plea to pull out of fossil fuel investments

9 October 2015

Last night York Green Party successfully pushed through an amendment at York's full council meeting securing a review of council investments with a view to excluding companies involved in producing fossil fuels.

Earlier this year it was revealed that councils across the UK are investing a staggering £14 billion of council workers' pensions into companies causing dangerous climate change.

According to divestment campaign group 350.org, North Yorkshire County Council Pension Fund (which provides pensions for City of York Council staff) has investments of £150 million in fossil fuel companies.

The amendment was to a motion supporting the UN Climate talks in Paris from executive member for the environment, Andrew Waller. Both were voted through in last night's Full Council Meeting in the historic Guildhall building. 

Green Party councillor Denise Craghill said: "I'm delighted the amendment met with the support it deserved, and I am pleased that soon the investments of our workers and citizens put aside for their future could be finally invested in their future. 80% of known reserves of fossil fuels have to be left in the ground if we are to avert catastrophic climate change so it makes sound economic sense to shift our focus to investing in renewables and energy saving investment."

Emma Coulson, City of York council employee and pension scheme member, said: "The Green Party stood up for what is right. I have a pension with the local council, and I was shocked to hear this was invested in damaging fossil fuel companies. Now, with the help of the Green Party, the council will be properly investing in the future of their people and, more importantly the future of our planet."

350.org is a grassroots campaign asking local authorities to commit to freeze investment in fossil fuels and divest within 5 years. So far over 450 major organisations world wide have divested, diverting over £2 trillion away from the fossil fuel industry.

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