Climate Action

Parliament pension fund to increase investment in renewables

The Parliament pension fund has revealed a step up in renewable investment, but MPs have called on the trustees of the fund to end investments in fossil fuels altogether.

  • 24 March 2020
  • Rachel Cooper

The Parliament pension fund has revealed a step up in renewable investment, but MPs have called on the trustees of the fund to end investments in fossil fuels altogether.

This week, MPs from the cross-party Divest Parliament initiative have called on Parliament to end investments in fossil fuels.

The recent Parliament pension fund 2019 Annual Review revealed that for the first time, 5% of the fund’s investments will be dedicated to renewable infrastructure, which will help build wind and solar farms across the world.

In addition to this, after the Trustees reviewed their equity structure, the fund will now allocate 30% of the existing equity structure to a global sustainable multi factor equity with Schroders. They believe this approach is “compatible with their investment objectives, beliefs and Responsible Investment policy.”

The cross-party Divest Parliament initiative, supported by 360 serving and former MPs, has repeatedly called on the trustees of the fund to completely end investments in fossil fuels, in accordance with the goal of limiting global heating to 1.5 degrees.  

However, despite campaigning, the 2019 annual report shows that the fund remains heavily invested in Royal Dutch Shell (£8m) and BP PLC (£4.4m).

Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, said: “Investing in clean energy is clearly the right thing to do, financially and for the future of our planet, so I’m glad the Parliamentary Pension Fund is doing this. But it has to also stop investing in Shell and BP.”

“These investments cannot be justified on ethical, environmental or financial grounds, and they undermine MPs’ credibility in addressing the climate emergency. They have to stop.”

Zarah Sultana, Labour MP for Coventry South, said: “The coronavirus pandemic is showing the devastating effects a major crisis can have to all areas of society. The climate crisis risks being even worse – unless we take urgent action.”

“Transitioning our economy away from fossil fuels is paramount and Parliament must lead the way, which is why I joined the Divest Parliament initiative as a newly elected MP. My pension shouldn’t be used to fuel the climate crisis and I call on the trustees of our MP pension fund to divest fully from fossil fuel companies.” 

With the UK being the host nation for this year’s UNFCCC’s COP, the Divest Parliament Initiative say the country must build international momentum for a rapid transition away from fossil fuels and towards a zero-carbon economy.