In the run-up for the local elections in May, we want to make sure that fossil fuel divestment is on the agenda of Glasgow’s future councillors, but also to get friendly councillors interested in sitting on the Pension Fund committee.
We drafted this template email. If you want to help our cause, we would greatly appreciate if you could copy it, edit it as you wish, and send it to your local councillors. You can do so very easily via this website. Also, if you get a response, we would greatly appreciate if you could forward it to us, so that we can create a list of all divestment-friendly councillors in the Strathclyde area.
Here is the template:
Dear [candidate’s name],
I am writing to you as a resident of [name of ward], and in the run-up for the local elections, I would like to know your position on fossil fuel divestment.
It was reported earlier last month that Scottish councils currently invest £1.7bn in oil, coal and gas companies. The Strathclyde Pension Fund—administered in large part by the Glasgow City Council—with its £890m in fossil fuels, already accounts for more than half of these investments.
As Scottish councils face more budget cuts, impairing their ability to guarantee some of the most basic services, it appears rather counter-intuitive that they would insist on maintaining their ties to an industry responsible for the spread of climate change denial, environmental destruction and human rights abuses around the world, when this resource could clearly be put to better use locally. Indeed, as some councils have started to do, these dirty investments could be re-channeled into activities beneficial to Scottish communities, such as sustainable housing and renewable energy projects. (You can see examples of that here)
As I mentioned, investment decisions of the Strathclyde Pension Fund are made by a committee composed of local councillors. Having brought this concern to your attention, I would therefore like to ask you two questions:
- Do you support divestment/reinvestment of local councils’ shares in fossil fuel?
- If you were to be re-elected, would you consider sitting on the Strathclyde Pension Fund committee, so as to be able to influence its choices of investments?