New Colne Valley MP Thelma Walker has just lent her support to Fossil Free campaigns working to help the transition to the low carbon economy, following a meeting with campaigners from Huddersfield Friends of the Earth. Thelma has signed up to the the Divest Parliament campaign, calling on Parliament’s £612m pension fund to cut their investments in fossil fuels as well supporting local campaigns calling on the West Yorkshire Pension Fund and Huddersfield University to also go fossil free and ‘divest’ any fossil fuel investments.
Over 50 MPs have now signed the Divest Parliament petition which has has secured support from a cross-section of MPs from Labour, the Conservatives, Lib Dems, Greens, SNP, SDLP and Plaid Cymru, who are all urging the Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund (PCPF) to show greater leadership on tackling climate change. The MPs are demanding that the fund upholds its “fiduciary duty and take the financial risks of climate change seriously” by disclosing and limiting its exposure to fossil fuels in its investments. Local institutions like WYPF and Huddersfield University are also being encouraged to ditch their fossil fuel investments to protect their investments from the risk of ‘stranded assets’ from ‘unburnable’ fossil fuels.
Thelma Walker MP said: “The UK Government has recently acknowledged that between 70-75 percent of known fossil fuels would have to be left unused in order to have a 50% chance of limiting global temperature rise to below 2°C* . From both a financial and ethical perspective it doesn’t make any sense to continue investing in fossil fuels. Divestment is a powerful way to take action on climate change and help us transition to a low carbon economy”.
Lesley Hawthorn from Huddersfield Friends of the Earth said: “We are delighted that Thelma Walker is showing strong climate leadership to help keep fossil fuels in the ground. It is increasingly clear that investments in fossil fuel companies are incompatible with the UK Government’s commitments under the Paris climate change agreement to limit global temperatures to “well below” 2C. Thelma is joining politicians from across the political spectrum in recognising the huge financial risks associated with fossil fuel investments. We should be investing in the clean, renewable energy to help the transition to a low carbon economy.”