Extinction Rebellion continue to pressure Bucks CC pension fund committee to divest from fossil fuels
Last Friday, four Extinction Rebellion groups from across Buckinghamshire held a colourful protest outside Buckinghamshire County Council’s office, to protest at the Council’s refusal to consider removing any of the £72 million it holds in fossil fuel stocks from its pension fund investments.
Extinction Rebellion say that these holdings are 'not only contributing to disastrous levels of global warming', but also 'pose a serious financial risk to their pensions'.
Two of the nine government pension schemes, invested alongside Buckinghamshire County Council in the Brunel Pension Partnership are already looking into alternative pension fund investments.
Following protests from Extinction Rebellion across the UK The Environmental Agency say they are reviewing their pension fund investment, and Wiltshire County Council have already divested a portion of their pension funds.
A spokesperson from Extinction Rebellion said: "The question that employees and voters should be asking is ‘why is Buckinghamshire CC dragging its feet?’
"Mark Carney, Governor of The Bank of England, has warned that the share values may suddenly plunge as the world moves away from fossil fuels, as countries comply
with the Paris Agreement legislation of 2015 - leaving pension funds “worthless” if investment choices are not changed.
"Carney has also challenged the accepted wisdom that such investments return high value.
"So then, why are BCC leaving themselves in this precarious situation?"
The protest saw a large amount of people present with banners and leaflets distributing information about climate change and Extinction Rebellion.
There was even a samba band and theatrical entertainment too.
Protesters dressed in black, which they say symbolised 'dirty money' from oil and what XR see as 'the funeral of Western civilisation' unless serious action is taken.
The spokesperson continued: "Most of the people we met were supportive and congratulated protesters for taking a stand, however some refused to engage."
Extinction Rebellion were also present during the public elements of the Pension Fund Committee meeting but they say they were ejected before any serious discussion could take place.
The spokesperson continued: "Although we accept that some information and discussions need to be confidential, it is not clear what is deemed confidential and, more importantly, the basis of these decisions."