ePetition details

Herts County Council: Divest your funds invested in fossil fuel industries

We the undersigned petition the County Council to immediately freeze new investments in fossil fuels divestment from direct ownership and commingled funds that include fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds within 5 years.

More CO2 in the atmosphere means more extreme weather events that could leave millions of
people displaced from their homes. Our government committed to a legally binding climate deal
to help prevent this.
It's time to break free from fossil fuels and invest in clean energy, for everyone's future.
1. Hertfordshire County Council Pension Fund has around £140,000,000 invested in fossil fuel
industries, including BG Group PLC, Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Rio Tinto PLC.
2. The pension fund affects over 180 employers in Hertfordshire including Hertfordshire County
Council (including schools), North Herts District Council, Dacorum Borough Council, East
Hertfordshire District Council, Hertsmere Borough Council. Broxbourne Borough Council, St Albans
District Council, Stevenage Borough Council, Three Rivers District Council, Watford Borough
Council and a range of community and voluntary groups. See here for list http://divestherts.org/
3. 97% of climate scientists agree that humans are the primary cause of recent climate change,
largely due to the release of greenhouse gases from the combustion of oil, coal and gas for heat
and power. Global warming is happening now - it is not a thing of the future; thanks to our
appetite for fossil fuels we’ve already experienced a global temperature rise of about 1°C since
the Industrial Revolution.[1]
The effects of this rise in temperature are already being felt, causing more frequent and intense
extreme weather events, including more tropical storms in some areas, but drought in others.
Climatic changes and oceans becoming more acidic due to absorbing excess carbon dioxide
present a real threat to whole ecosystems. It’s not just bad for the environment, it’s putting
people's lives at risk too due to food and water insecurity and is creating climate change
refugees.[2]
4. In order to stop the global climate warming by another 2 °C, 80% ofall known fossil fuels must
stay in the ground.[3] However, despite all the evidence showing that we need to transition to
cleaner forms of energy, fossil fuel companies are continuing to extract dirty fossil fuels, and
making huge profits in the process.[4]
5. Investments in fossil fuels are also risky. Recent fluctuations in oil prices means that divesting
from fossil fuels would minimise the council's exposure to the financial risk of the 'carbon bubble',
whereby companies risk being left with stranded assets (worthless fuel stocks that regulation will
prevent from being burned). People and institutions that own shares in the companies will see the
value of their investments decrease. (5)
6. By removing investments in these companies Hertfordshire County Council will be showing its
commitment to creating a healthy, sustainable future for both the people of Hertfordshire and the
planet as a whole.
7. Institutions across the world including churches and universities, as well as local authorities in
the UK such as Bristol City Council and Oxford City Council have already committed to divest from
fossil fuels. [6] Let's see Hertfordshire join them in making this small but impactful com[2] http://climatemigration.org.uk/about-us/
[3] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-30709211
[4] http://priceofoil.org/tag/fossil-fuel-industry-profits/
[5] http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/28f00388-0df3-11e5-9a65-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3mHL64WyD
[6]http://gofossilfree.org/commitments/

Started by: Elaine Manzi (Divest Herts)

This ePetition ran from 24/08/2020 to 24/08/2020 and has now finished.

924 people signed this ePetition.

Council response

This petition was presented to Resources and Performance Panel on 4 September 2020 where an item on this subject was discussed as part of the agenda.

The link to the meeting agenda and papers can be found here:
https://democracy.hertfordshire.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=283&MId=1999&Ver=4


The link to the webcast can be found here:
http://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/watchmeetings