Divest your council

Across the UK, local authorities continue to invest around £10 billion in fossil fuels through their pension funds, despite more than 75% of councils declaring a climate emergency.

As the government prepares to host this year’s COP26 climate talks, our new report reveals that local authorities are still backing the industry responsible for the climate crisis and pouring billions into the companies blocking climate action.

As we recover from the pandemic, we can choose to stick to old systems of investment that keep accelerating the climate crisis, or we can invest local money in ways that matter for local people and their future.

It costs nothing to make this change, and six councils have already committed to divest fully. It’s time to ask why your council has not.

How much does your local authority invest in fossil fuels?

Our interactive tool lets you see exactly what your local authority’s pension fund invests in. [Open dashboard in new tab].

Click here for an explainer on how to use the dashboard.

Take action

Use our simple e-action to ask your local councillors to back fossil free council pensions.

There’s a network of 50 campaigning groups working on local government divestment across the country

If there isn’t a campaign near you and you’d like to get one going – let us know! We can support you with training and resources, and link you up with other campaigns.

Are you a member of a trade union? There is a growing movement of climate activism within trade unions.

UNISON, the primary representative for local government workers, is one of a number of unions that has formally adopted policy in support of fossil fuel divestment. GMB, Unite and other unions that represent those in the local government pension scheme have also supported divestment campaigners.

Now, we need to turn these policy wins into action. Get in contact with your branch secretary asking to be put in contact with other members looking to divest, or get in contact with Ben at benlennon@platformlondon.org for support.

For a divestment motion to be binding, it has to be passed at your council's pension fund meeting.

Ask a supportive councillor on the pension fund to brief their colleagues about it and share this template motion for them to discuss their next meeting.

Sign up to receive email updates from the UK Divest team and find out about news and events, campaign resources, and opportunities to get involved with your local fossil free campaign.

We need to get as many people as possible to join the call for fossil fuel divestment.

Ask your Twitter followers to write to their councillors, or encourage them to explore the data on their local authority.

About the report

Divesting to protect our pensions and the planet is a joint report from Platform, Friends of the Earth England Wales and Northern Ireland and Friends of the Earth Scotland in February 2021.

Download the full report, including data tables and report methodology

Download the executive summary

Get in touch

Press/media enquiries: ukdivest@gmail.com
Campaign enquiries: ukdivest@gmail.com
Methodology and data enquiries: robert@platformlondon.org
Councillor enquiries: benlennon@platformlondon.org
Trade union enquiries: benlennon@platformlondon.org