Dirty pensions: is your council funding the climate crisis?

Despite over 75% of local councils declaring a climate emergency, billions of pounds are still invested in planet-wrecking projects through local government pension funds.

07 Nov 2022

Research from Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Platform and Friends of the Earth Scotland released in 2021 revealed that UK local authority pension funds are investing around £10 billion in the fossil fuel industry. Meanwhile, fewer than 5% of local council funds have committed to fully divest from fossil fuels.

Halting the extraction and expansion of fossil fuels is a matter of survival for us all. Our local leaders have a responsibility to act now by divesting from fossil fuels and re-investing pensions in the local economy to support socially and environmentally beneficial projects like wind farms, solar power co-operatives and social housing.

Here are some ways we can act:

Use the data dashboard to explore your local authority's fossil fuel investments in more detail, including what proportion of their total pension fund is invested in fossil fuels, how they compare to other funds, and their top 10 fossil fuel holdings. You can also find out which funds have committed to divest and access case studies for 2 of the divested local authority funds on the UK Divest website.

Email your local councillor asking them to support divestment:

Find a local divestment campaign near you and reach out to see how you can support one another or even join forces. If there isn’t a campaign active near you, email ukdivest@gmail.com to find out how you can set one up.

If you’d like to receive support and resources from UK Divest or link up with other divestment campaigners across the UK, get in touch with Rianna at rianna.gargiulo@foe.co.uk. You can also sign up to receive emails from UK Divest to keep up to speed on the national campaign and ways you can get involved.