First pension investments into climate aware fund agreed by council
- Credit: ARCHANT
More than £150million in pension funds at a Suffolk council are to be put into a dedicated pot investing in climate-aware companies, it has emerged.
Suffolk County Council's pension fund committee last week agreed the transfer into a UBS Climate Aware World Equity Fund, which effectively aims to produce similar returns to existing investments but into companies with lower carbon emissions.
The money has come out of the council's £2.9billion passive equity investments fund - investments which are held long term to reduce fees associated with frequent buying and selling.
It marks the authority's first steps into a portfolio recognising reduced carbon emissions, following the council's decision to declare a climate emergency in the spring.
Pension fund committee member Robert Lindsay has been campaigning for more environmentally-friendly investments, and 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.
- 1 Snow falls in Suffolk overnight as cold snap set to continue
- 2 'Calm, graceful and kind': Tributes paid to martial arts world champion
- 3 Matchday Recap: Outrageous Celina wins it for Town
- 4 Fire breaks out at British Sugar Factory
- 5 No timescale for when Suffolk road closed due to flooding can reopen
- 6 Nearly 150 homes to go on land no longer needed for jobs
- 7 More than 20 drivers caught at speeds of 100mph on A14 within an hour
- 8 Jailed in Suffolk: The criminals put behind bars this week
- 9 Ipswich Town 2-1 Crewe Alexandra: Celina brilliance just about enough to see Blues home
- 10 'The bigger picture is the result' - Cook on Crewe win
"We were very careful to check that taking this step would not significantly affect performance of the fund."
Extinction Rebellion, which earlier in the month gave a demonstration outside the council's base at Endeavour House, Ipswich, has already called for investments in fossil fuel firms to be withdrawn and a carbon-friendly pot to be established instead.
Conservative councillor Andrew Reid added: "The Suffolk pension fund is committed to investing in environmentally aware investments that produce sustainable returns that are not detrimental to the committee's fiduciary duty."