Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Kirklees Greens Fossil Fuel Divestment Motion Passed!

Motion submitted in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 14 as to Fossil Free Kirklees
To consider the following Motion submitted in the names of Councillors Allison and Cooper;

“This Council recognises;
(i)  the challenge and threat of climate change to residents and global community.
(ii) that to keep global warming below 2oC we must operate within a global carbon budget. 80% of existing fossil fuel reserves cannot be burned if we are to keep below the internationally agreed climate change goal of keeping below 2 degrees
(iii)  the growing movement to divest from fossil fuels in order to, in the words of Desmond Tutu, "break their ties with corporations financing the injustice of climate change."
(iv) that there is also a strong financial case for divestment ,with recent concerns raised by the Bank of England about 'unburnable carbon' and significant financial risks posed by fossil fuel equities.
(v) that governments are increasingly controlling carbon emissions to meet international targets; a large proportion of fossil-fuel reserves which companies expect to extract will become stranded assets: a "carbon bubble". Funds which are exposed to fossil-fuel equities when this bubble bursts can expect to suffer considerable losses.
(vi) that Pension Fund Trustees owe fiduciary duties to scheme employers and scheme members, and must act in the best long-term interests of fund members.
This Council believes that;

The Director of Resources is requested to review the existing Treasury Management Strategy, and present a report to Corporate Governance and Audit Committee, Cabinet and Council to giving consideration to an additional principle of avoiding direct investment in institutions with material links to fossil fuel extraction as defined by the Carbon Underground 200 – the top 200 companies with the largest known carbon reserves (oil, gas and coal) by June 2016.

Kirklees Council will encourage other local authorities to similarly reviewing their Fossil Fuel industry investments, by sharing this decision through the Local Government Association and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

Kirklees Council will use its influence to call on West Yorkshire Pension Fund and other Funds where the Council appoints Trustees to review investments in the fossil fuel industry (as defined by the Carbon Underground 200). Specifically Kirklees will ask our representatives on the West Yorkshire Pension Fund - Investment Advisory Panel to call on all Pension Trustees to exercise their fiduciary duty and to call for a review of WYPF fossil fuel investments in the light of climate risk posed by fossil fuel equities.

Kirklees Council request that WYPF makes a commitment to wind down exposure to the carbon underground top 200 fossil fuel companies over a 5 year period.”

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