On January 10, 2018, the U.K. union UNISON launched a campaign to encourage members of local government pension schemes to push for changes in the investment of their funds – specifically, to “explore alternative investment opportunities, allowing schemes to sell their shares and bonds in fossil fuels and to go carbon-free.” A key tool in this campaign: Local Government Pension Funds – Divest From Carbon Campaign: A UNISON Guide, which states: “Across the UK there are nearly 50 divestment campaigns targeting local government pension funds ….. In September this year, it was revealed that a total of £16 billion is invested in the fossil fuel industry by Local Government Pension funds.” The new Guide explains how the U.K. pension system works for local government employees, and provides case studies of existing divestment campaigns. In addition, it provides “Campaign Resources”, including a model campaign letter, a glossary of pension and investment terms, and it reproduces the Pensions and Climate Motion passed at the 2017 UNISON Delegates conference. The Guide was written by UNISON, in collaboration with ShareAction – a registered U.K. charity that promotes responsible investment practices by pension providers and fund managers.
Information about the divestment campaign, as well as information about the National Auditor’s Report re the U.K. Green Investment Bank, is included in the January-February issue of the newsletter of the Greener Jobs Alliance , a U.K. partnership of “trade unions, student organisations, campaigning groups and a policy think tank.” The Greener Jobs Alliance is part of the Campaign against Climate Change Trade Union Group, which is organizing an event on March 10 in London: Jobs & Climate: Planning for a Future that Doesn’t Cost the Earth.