All posts by Peter Robinson

Derby City Councillors give the lead and call on Pension Fund to divest from fossil fuels

Press Release: For Immediate Release 8 March 2018

This week Derby City Councillors called on the Derbyshire Pension Fund to divest from fossil fuel and fracking companies [1]. Councillors voted overwhelmingly in support of a motion [2] to reduce fossil fuel dependence in order to prevent climate change and reduce the financial risk to pension members.

Derby City Council is one of 10 local councils and 190 employers that are members of the £4.2 billion Derbyshire Pension Fund [3] which is managed by Derbyshire County Council. Two Derby City Councillors sit on the Committee which manages the Pension Fund.

Councillor Lucy Care (LibDem) who moved the motion said:

We need to make our pension funds work for everyone. As more money comes out of fossil fuels and into sustainable alternatives there will be a growing risk of keeping ones’ money in fossil fuel. We don’t want our pensions invested in fossil fuels and fracking, we want investment in renewables and clean energy and need to leave fossil fuels in the ground.”

The majority labour group in the Council supported the motion. Councillor Lisa Eldret (Lab) said:

Climate change is something that really matters. It impacts all of us but particularly the poorest people in the world. It will leave hundreds of millions of people vulnerable to extreme weather events and cause catastrophic loss of life.  The labour group in Derby City Council want to make sure our pension funds do not contribute to climate change and instead are used in an environmentally responsible way that promotes green jobs.”

Peter Robinson of Derby Climate Coalition, a member of the Divest Derbyshire campaign [4] said

We welcome the lead set by Derby City Council and we hope this sends a strong signal to the Derbyshire Pension Fund that they shouldn’t be continuing to invest in an industry that is financially risky and morally bankrupt.”

David Clasby, Co-convenor of Derby Green Forum said:

We are proud that Derby City Council has taken the lead on climate change, one of the biggest threats facing humanity. Instead of ploughing money into companies like Exxon and Shell we should be using our pension funds to benefit society and invest in more forward thinking industries. This result demonstrates that getting involved with local politics can make a real difference. It is possible to think global and act local, it can make a difference.”

Recently MPs have written to the 25 largest pension funds in the country, including some of the large council pension funds, asking them how they are addressing climate risks.[5]

Full divestment commitments have so far been made by two UK council pension funds, with a further four making partial commitments [6]. The campaign to divest local council pensions has also received backing from Unison and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) [7].


Lisa Hopkinson (Divest Derbyshire),


  1. The Pension Fund has £257 million invested in the fossil fuel companies, which includes £143 million (55%) in companies with major fracking operations.
  2. The motion was debated at the full council meeting on Tuesday 6 March. The full motion can be found here (agenda item 14):
  3. The pension fund affects over 190 employers in Derbyshire including Derbyshire County Council, all the borough and District Councils in Derbyshire; Derby City Council; Chesterfield College; Derby College; Derbyshire Fire Authority; Derbyshire Police Authority; Peak District National Park Authority; University of Derby and a large group of smaller employers.
  4. The Divest Derbyshire campaign is supported by 21 organisations across Derbyshire (in alphabetical order): Amber Valley Against Fracking; Bolsover Against Fracking; Calow Against Gas Extraction (CAGE); Chesterfield and District Trades Union Council; Chesterfield Climate Alliance; Clay Cross Against Fracking; Coal Aston and Dronfield Against Fracking; Derby Climate Coalition; Eckington Against Fracking; Glossopdale Transition Initiative; Melbourne Area Transition; Sustainable Edale; Sustainable Hayfield; Transition Belper; Transition Buxton; Transition Chesterfield; Transition Hope Valley; Transition Matlock; Transition New Mills. Transition Wirksworth; University of Derby Students’ Union. In March 2017 the campaign submitted a petition signed by over 1,000 people calling for the Derbyshire Pension Fund to divest from fossil fuels.  See
  6. Waltham Forest and Southwark Council Pension Funds have committed to phase out all fossil fuel investments from their portfolio. To see the full list of global divestment commitments, visit:
  7. Read more on Unison’s decision on Platform’s blog. View the text of the TUC motion – adopted unanimously – on the Trade Unions for Energy Democracy website

After the election – what now for climate action?

The future of the country is thrown open to new possibilities.

Young people turned out to vote in record numbers. Now politicians need to respond to those who have the biggest stake in securing a secure future on a liveable planet.

We don’t know how national politics will play out in the coming days and months.
But we know that the UK needs to align ourselves internationally with progressive nations, not with Donald Trump’s climate denial and dishonesty. We need to invest in climate jobs, taking advantage of cheap renewable energy, and building essential infrastructure. We need to make sure Brexit doesn’t scupper environmental protection.

What happens next? Can we trust Conservative minority government supported by the DUP?  While climate change scepticism is not official party “policy”, the DUP has previously appointed a denier as environment minister in Northern Ireland. The Campaign against Climate Change  has spoken out against the Conservative government’s backtracking on important climate change policies in the past two years. If the plan is to carry on with more of the same, however, they will find it difficult.

They will face ever stronger community resistance to fracking, legal challenges against dangerous schemes such as Heathrow expansion, and opposition from all those determined to take action to put the planet and the people who live on it, before profit. Join us.

Air Pollution in Derby and other Green Forum matters

The Derby Green Forum was held on Thursday 25 May 2017 and was attended by 33 people, from a wide variety of backgrounds. Three councillors were there (the Deputy Leader of the Council – Martin Rawson, Lucy Care and the new mayor – John Whitby (who said that his priority was promoting all green agenda) along with a number a number of officers from Derby City Council.

The notes for the meeting can be accessed by clicking here  Derby Green Forum Minutes 25 May 2017.

Air Pollution was the principal item . The map, shown above, shows the relationship between traffic and air pollution. This has been taken from the presentation by Karl Suschitzky’s,  from the City Council  Environmental Protection team. This is merely a screen shot from the Council’s public mapping portal which is available for access by anyone at the following address:  then you need to use the ‘choose an option’ drop downs in the top left corner to select ‘environment and protection’ and then select the ‘air quality management areas’ layer. Helpfully, you can zoom in on any specific location to look at the air quality in more detail in specific areas. Continue reading Air Pollution in Derby and other Green Forum matters

Derby Green Forum

derby_Green_Forum_22nov2016_eflyerDerby Climate Coalition, in partnership with Derby City Council, is setting up a quarterly forum where individuals and organisations can discuss green matters related to Derby – including green and renewable energy supply, sustainable transportation, buildings and planning issues.

This is meeting at the Council House at 6.30 pm on Tuesday November the 22nd.

Please come along and join the discussion! Book your free seat by clicking on this link:

Agenda items so far include:

  • Air pollution in Derby
  • Bike hire scheme

European Funded low energy project for Businesses

Let us know if you have any items for the agenda by emailing derbyclimatecoalition@gmail.comderby_Green_Forum_22nov2016_eflyer

Hoping to see you

Martin Rawson Deputy Leader of Derby City Council

Peter Robinson  Chair of Derby Climate Coalition

More than 1,000 people take part in an anti-fracking rally, in York,


More than 1,000 people from across the North and including 8 supporters of Derby climate coalition, united to take part in an anti-fracking rally, in York, where they marched from Clifford’s Tower to the city’s minster. (See this link on BBC news) Continue reading More than 1,000 people take part in an anti-fracking rally, in York,

Don’t Waste Billions Of £s On Nuclear Power


Greenpeace are calling upon people to sign the following petition:
      To: Chancellor Philip Hammond
      CC: Theresa May, Prime Minister
“Don’t waste billions of pounds building a new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset. Please invest government spending in renewable energy instead.”

Please click on this link and sign the petition.

Continue reading Don’t Waste Billions Of £s On Nuclear Power

Shattered records show climate change is an emergency today, scientists warn

May was the 13th month in a row to break temperature records according to figures published this week that are the latest in 2016’s string of incredible climate records which scientists have described as a bombshell and an emergency.


Continue reading Shattered records show climate change is an emergency today, scientists warn