|Green Party London Assembly Members Caroline Russell and Sian Berry with Brent Green Simon Erskine|
Climate change campaigners are urging Brent Council to take its money out of fossil fuels.
A new campaign group, Divest Brent, launched this week. The activists hope to put pressure on the Council to “divest” from the fossil fuel industry by withdrawing any money they have invested in companies involved in digging for or burning coal, oil and gas.
Recently published figures indicate that the Council has over £37 million invested in the fossil fuel industry through its pension fund.
Campaigner and Green Party activist Simon Erskine explained that the divestment movement had already scored many victories in recent years and has become a powerful method of forcing organisations to consider their contribution to human-made climate change.
He told Wembley Matters:
It sends a message to the industry and it raises awareness of the issue.
People may not already be aware of where their money is going and might be concerned to learn they are helping to finance the fossil fuel industry.Fossil fuels belong to the past; they are not the answer to climate change, they are the problem.In the same way, people no longer want to invest in tobacco or the arms trade.
Earlier this month a protest was staged outside City Hall to call for the Greater London Authority to divest from fossil fuels. The London Assembly has already passed a motion requesting the London Mayor to do exactly that.
Organisations in the UK that have committed to fossil fuel divestment so far include Oxford and Bristol city councils, the University of Glasgow and the British Medical Association. A number of London Boroughs have also committed – including neighbouring borough, Hammersmith & Fulham.
Globally more than 800 institutions (from government, faith-based, philanthropic and educational organisations etc), representing well over $5 trillion in assets, have committed to divest.
Ali Warrington, another Divest Brent campaigner, said:
To support the campaign sign the petition HERE and email, Facebook and Tweet your friends urging them to sign.It’s really exciting to bring the fastest-growing divestment movement in history to Brent. We need to act locally and ensure our representatives do what’s right and invest ethically. The companies they’re investing in are creating devastating climate change, and are insecure investments financially.
This is the petition: