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Scottish green campaigners reveal local authority pensions have more than £1.2 billion invested in fossil fuel companies

SCOTTISH local authority pensions have more than £1.2 billion invested in fossil fuel companies, green campaigners revealed today.

Friends of the Earth Scotland (FoES) said many councils that have declared a climate emergency have not taken action to end their investments in coal, oil and gas firms.

It said that Strathclyde Pension Fund was the worst offender, with more than £508 million invested in polluting companies such as Shell, BP and Exxon, while the Lothian fund had about £165m invested in fossil fuel firms.

With Glasgow due to host the UN climate conference later this year, activists said there is now a clear deadline for funds to address their fossil fuel investments.

FoES divestment campaigner Ric Lander said: “Local authorities have the power and duty to ensure local workers have a pension for their retirement, but also a future worth retiring into.

“Instead of stubbornly sticking with old systems of investment that worsen climate breakdown, councils should boost investment in renewable energy and social housing.”

Unison Scotland deputy convener Stephen Smellie said the case for divestment is financial, as well as moral and ethical, as the world moves to a low-carbon economy.

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