Dorset Council and the county-wide Dorset Pension Fund, which involves other public bodies, are again under pressure to divest from oil and gas.
Activist Caz Dennett says now is the time to invest in something for good.
She asked the fund, whose main contributors are Dorset Council and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council, if they were comfortable with oil and gas investments which she says can lead to “ leukemia and childhood cancers, unlivable environments and sacrificed communities.”
She told Dorset Council’s October meeting that she had now withdrawn her services as a senior security consultant at Shell after deciding she could no longer tolerate what she said was their reluctance to attack the results of their actions on the environment.
Another public question at the Dorset Council meeting came from Julie-Ann Booker on behalf of the group Dorset Action on Pensions.
She asked when and how members of the Dorset Pension Fund would be consulted on government proposals to change the local government schemes in which they invest in climate-related areas – and how this would be achieved before the November 24 deadline for consultation.
Ms Booker said: “If Dorset Council submits a response to the consultation, what arrangements is Dorset Council making to consult Dorset Pension Fund members on the council’s submission, and what is done to inform pension fund members of the Government’s consultation and their right to make individual representations?”
Deputy head of council Cllr Peter Wharf, who sits on the Dorset Pension Fund Committee, said he would take advice on the matters, adding that a review of how the fund was invested was currently underway with a report expected in the middle of next year.
Earlier in the year, at a meeting, the pension fund committee was told that, through its investment managers, there had already been a “substantial” movement of oil and gas holdings into “green” investments.
The committee has been lobbied repeatedly over the past two years over what activists say are immoral or environmentally harmful fund holdings.
Photos – Previous lobbies aimed at persuading the Dorset Pension Fund to divest from fossil fuels