Sample email for new councillors
The following template email can be used as a basis for starting conversations with your newly elected councillors.
We encourage you to amend and personalise the template as much as you can. Within these first few weeks it will be really difficult to make your email to stand out, so it’s important that you take time to make your email unique!
You might want to include the following in your email:
- Reference to whether they have been re-elected or have become a councillor for the first time.
- If they’ve signed the UK Divest pledge, make sure to mention this (note that you won’t need to spend so much time convincing them of the merits of divestment!)
- Details about yourself, the local group you’re involved in, and why you care about the issue of fossil fuel divestment.
- It’s always great to add anything personal you know about them – if you’ve seen them post on social media about caring about nature or wildlife, why not link these interests to your ask?
You might want to revisit this guide developed with Hope for the Future on talking to councillors.
Subject: Working together to tackle climate change following your election
Dear Cllr [name of councillor],
Congratulations on your recent appointment as councillor of [name of ward / council].
I am writing on behalf of [your divestment/climate group, if you are a member of one]. We are a group of residents of [name of area] that have been campaigning for [name of your council’s pension fund] to stop investing local workers’ money in planet-wrecking fossil fuels. The fund invests an estimated [£Xm – estimated value of fossil investments for your fund] in companies like Shell and BP that are driving up carbon emissions and reaping huge profits, all while our local community faces skyrocketing energy prices and rising fuel poverty.
[I/we] would welcome a discussion with you about how we can work together to make our council a climate leader and secure reinvestment in cleaner, cheaper energy for our local community. [Optional line if they’ve signed the pledge: [I/we am/are] really pleased to see that you’ve already signed the UK Divest pledge and committed to working towards securing fossil free pensions…]
Investing local pensions in fossil fuels is fuelling climate change and air pollution, contradicting local, national and international commitments to tackle climate change, and putting workers’ hard-earned pensions savings in jeopardy. To move towards a zero-carbon future we need to phase out the use of fossil fuels by limiting their extraction and production as part of a managed and just transition.
Institutions, such as local government pension funds, can take practical action by moving their investments out of the fossil fuel industry over a sensible time frame. Councils like Cardiff, Waltham Forest, Southwark, Islington, and Lambeth have already started doing this.
Would you be willing to attend a short webinar for all newly elected councillors on local pensions and managing climate risk? The event will cover the moral, environmental and financial merits of ending investment in fossil fuels, explore what you can do as a councillor to move the conversation forward, and provide space for you to ask any questions you might have.
You can register to attend the webinar at this link. I’d also appreciate it if you are able to share the event registration with other councillors who may be keen to find out more.
In the meantime, [I’ve/we’ve] attached a councillor briefing that provides some more information on the issue. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions — [I/we] welcome the beginning of a dialogue about how we can work together to make our council a climate leader.
[Your name, role and name of your group]