MP JOINS CALLS FOR PARLIAMENTARY PENSION FUND TO DROP FOSSIL FUELS

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Antoinette Sandbach

Antoinette Sandbach MP has joined a group of 200 cross-party MPs and former MPs who have signed the Divest Parliament Pledge, which calls on the Parliamentary Pension Fund to review and phase out investments in fossil fuel companies. The call follows growing concern among Parliamentarians about the environmental, social and financial risks posed by climate change.

Started in 2014, the campaign's supporters include fifteen current and former conservative MPs, amongst them Justine Greening, Zac Goldsmith, Sir Oliver Letwin and Lord Deben — Chair of the UK's Independent Committee on Climate Change.

Antoinette Sandbach, MP for Eddisbury, said:

"Urgent action must be taken to reduce carbon pollution from burning fossil fuels, and MPs should lead by example. This is why I have pledged my support for the Divest Parliament campaign to move investment of the MPs' Pension Fund away from fossil fuels and towards renewables. It doesn't make sense for long-term pension funds to be investing in companies that aren't committed to bringing about a clean energy future."

Lord Deben, Chair of the UK's Independent Committee on Climate Change, said:

"Preventing disastrous climate change will be the defining challenge of the next decade for world leaders. The UK must show leadership by demonstrating that we are prepared to make the necessary choices. This includes moving investment out of fossil fuels and towards renewables that are already proving that they can be built at the scale needed to power our homes and businesses. Moving quickly towards the Paris goals is the best way to protect our health and our prosperity for many generations to come."

Tytus Murphy, a campaigner with 350.org, said:

"The climate science is unequivocal: the vast majority of fossil fuels must stay in the ground to contain warming below 1.5 degrees. Cross-party MPs backing Divest Parliament acknowledge that it is unacceptable for political leaders to be heavily investing in fossil fuels at a time of climate change. It is encouraging to see more and more Conservative MPs leading by example and supporting the call to invest their pension in positive solutions like renewables and energy-efficiency technology."

If successful, the campaign would see Parliament joining the Irish National Infrastructure Fund, the New York State Pension fund, local authorities such as Waltham Forest and Southwark and two thirds of UK universities in committing to fossil fuel divestment.