Waltham works towards fossil fuel divestment

Waltham Forest Council claims it has made “significant progress” towards its goal to stop investing in fossil fuels by April next year.

The council was the first in the UK to pledge to divest from fossil fuels, making the commitment in September 2016.

The chairman of the council’s pension committee, Cllr Johar Khan, said that investment in fossil fuels now accounts for “just 0.4 per cent” of the fund.

On March 31 last year, this fund was worth £862.5 million. If its value has stayed consistent, then the council has almost £3.5 million invested in fossil fuels.

Cllr Khan said: “The council has made significant progress toward its ambition of divesting from fossil fuels by April 2022.

“The most recent figures show that fossil fuel equities account for 0.4 per cent of the council’s pension fund, all through one pooled fund managed by the London Collective Investment Vehicle.

“Divesting from fossil fuels is part of the pension fund’s response to climate change and the inevitable movement toward a global low-carbon economy.”

In 2019, the council said it had around £30 million invested in fossil fuels, suggesting it has achieved a significant drop in almost two years.

However, at the time the council’s estimates for previous years only included investments in oil and gas, excluding coal and wider infrastructure like new pipelines.

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Victoria Munro

Local Democracy Reporter