A petition, signed by over 1500 people from across East Sussex, has this week been delivered to County Hall.
The 25 metre petition calls on the County Council to ditch ‘dirty’ investments in oil, coal and gas for the East Sussex Pension Fund.
Julia Hilton from Divest East Sussex said, "Investments in fossil fuels are not only damaging the balance of the earth's climate, but also pose a serious financial risk to investors. This explains why
685 institutions in 76 countries, managing assets worth more than $5 trillion, have now made some form of divestment commitment. The East Sussex Pension Fund should stop pretending that it can influence fossil fuel companies like Exxon – a company notorious for funding climate denial – by retaining investments in them, and instead join other local pension funds, such as the Waltham Forest Pension Fund, in ditching these dangerous and risky investments."
Rachel Crossley from Fossil Free Hastings, who co-drafted a document that has been sent to all of the members of the Pension Committee, outlining how the Fund's new Investment Strategy could be amended to guard against the risks posed by climate change, said, "The law is clear that where environmental issues are financially significant – as they are with the East Sussex Pension Fund's investments in fossil fuels – Pension Funds need to take these issues into account. By writing divestment into its new Investment Strategy, the East Sussex Pension Committee could go a long way towards addressing such climate-change related risks, without compromising the financial returns to local pension fund members."