Residents urged to stop their pension funds fuelling climate change

March 29, 2010 1:35 PM

Julian HuppertCambridge residents paying into pension funds, have been urged by Julian Huppert, Parliamentary candidate for Cambridge to act to stop their money fuelling climate change.

Julian has backed unprecedented action by thousands of pension scheme members who are trying to make sure their pension money is invested responsibly.

They have supported shareholder resolutions about tar sands - widely acknowledged as the world's dirtiest fuels - which will be tabled at the annual meetings of major oil companies, BP and Shell.

The resolutions, co-ordinated by investment charity, FairPensions, ask the companies to report to shareholders on the investment risks asociated with their tar sands projects.

Tar sands are a naturally occurring bitumen product which are being principally mined in Canada and Venezuela with the potential to produce 3.6 trillion barrels of oil; but the process contributes greatly to climate change.

"Financial institutions and fund managers have shown they can't always be trusted to invest our money responsibly," said Julian. "It's time we took control of our pensions and started demanding a say in the investment decisions that affect us.

"Our pensions, which are supposed to safeguard our wellbeing in later life, are being invested in a hugely destructive activity. Coming clean on the risks involved is the least these companies can do."

Duncan Exley, Director of Campaigns at FairPensions, said: "This could herald a new era of public accountability for companies and their investors.

"It's becoming increasingly clear that tar sands are a risky investment, both environmentally and financially. What people may not realise is that their pension provider almost certainly holds shares in the companies responsible on their behalf.

"Anyone with pension savings has a right to lobby their fund manager on how to vote on these vitally important resolutions."

Anyone wishing to contact pension funds to lobby for the resolutions can do so by visiting FairPensions' website at http://www.countingthecost.org.uk

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