Points to raise:
- Ask Councillors to support the Fossil Free Kirklees motion being put before the Council on Wednesday 7th October
- The Fossil Free Kirklees campaign is calling upon Kirklees Council and the wider West Yorkshire Pension Fund to show climate leadership and financial prudence by going Fossil Free and severing all financial links with the fossil fuel industry.
- Research undertaken by the Carbon Tracker Initiative, has found that there are already five times more fossil fuel reserves than can be burnt if internationally agreed carbon emissions targets are to be met. In other words, 80% of known fossil fuel reserves need to stay in the ground to prevent catastrophic temperature rises.
- Our futures depend on investing in clean not dirty energy and we believe that it does not makes good financial or ethical sense for our local council and pension fund to be investing in companies which are trying to extract even more unburnable oil, coal and gas.
- We don’t want fossil fuels to destroy our pensions and we don’t want our pensions to destroy our future!
- Kirklees Council’s own investments are not directly linked to the fossil fuel industry and so it would be easy for Kirklees Council to commit to be ‘Fossil Free’, as Oxford and Bristol city councils have already done.
- The West Yorkshire Pension Fund does have significant fossil fuel investments [over 6.5% of WYPF’s investments are in fossil fuel companies, including £207 million invested in BP and £171 million invested in Royal Dutch Shell] and so Kirklees Council would need to work with fellow councils within the West Yorkshire Pension Fund to freeze and withdraw those investments.
- In terms of the WYPF investments, recent academic research has shown that going Fossil Free is unlikely to be financially detrimental in the short and medium term and in the long term will be beneficial as removes the financial risk posed by the ‘carbon bubble’.