Council commits to low-carbon investment

23 January 2018

Southwark Council has taken its first step as part of the commitment to cut its investments in fossil fuels. At the meeting of the Pensions Advisory Panel on 9 January 2018, the council agreed to move £150m into the Blackrock Low Carbon Target Equity Fund.

This investment will allow the pension fund to continue to secure strong, long-term investment performance whilst reducing the risks inherent in fossil fuel assets. Importantly, this investment will have 70% less greenhouse gas exposure than before.

The Southwark Pension Fund will be one of the first investors to join this fund following its seeding by the Avon Local Government Pension Fund in December 2017.

The Cabinet Member for Finance, Modernisation and Performance at Southwark Council and Chair of the Pensions Advisory Panel, Cllr Fiona Colley, said: “I am delighted to announce that we are making early and positive moves to reduce the carbon exposure of our Pension Fund. This was a decision based not just on our political and ethical concerns, but primarily on our belief that climate change and significant investments in fossil fuels present a long term financial risk to our fund. This initial investment represents 10% of the total fund and we have in place plans to transfer further assets into low carbon investments, while ensuring consistent performance and keeping fees and costs at competitive levels. 

“As well as reducing our investments in fossil fuels we are also looking at ways the fund can benefit from the opportunities of new, sustainable and increasingly profitable sectors such as solar and wind power generation and modern battery technology. With this in mind, we will be entering into a selection process in the coming months for sustainable infrastructure investment funds."

Page last updated: 23 January 2018