Local campaign groups Divest Lothian and People and Planet Edinburgh protested outside the City Chambers today about the Council’s investment in fossil fuel companies.
A report published by Friends of the Earth Scotland, think tank Common Weal and UNISON Scotland revealed that the City of Edinburgh Council had £104 million invested in coal, oil and gas companies. The report says these are the companies most responsible for driving climate change.
Five UK council funds have committed to cut their investments in fossil fuels as a response to the threat of climate change, but Edinburgh Council is not one of them.
Edinburgh Council runs the Lothian Pension Fund on behalf of council and other employers in the Lothians.
Alan Munro, campaign for Divest Lothian met Cllr Alasdair Rankin who Chairs the Council Pensions Committee.
Munro said: “Investing in companies driving the current climate crisis is both morally and financially irresponsible. Councils have a duty to put the long-term well being of their communities first. We are outside the City Chambers today to demand that the Council rethink its approach to climate change and consider more sustainable investment alternatives, such as renewable energy and social housing”.
Jude Ferguson is a member of the Lothian Pension Fund. She said: “What is the point in saving for a future that my pension money is helping to destroy? I want to, and believe I can invest in a future that invests in the planet.”
Divest Lothian and People and Planet Edinburgh continue to press local council candidates across the Lothians to pledge their support for our calls for fossil fuel divestment.