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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

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

Feeling the Heat & Wildlife

feeling the heat



7:00 pm Wednesday June 8,

St Peter’s Centre, St Peters Street,

Derby, DE1 1NN

As climate chaos takes hold, wildlife in Derbyshire, across the UK and globally, faces unprecedented challenges.

This illustrated talk by Tim Birch – Conservation Manager for Derbyshire Wildlife Trust will examine the threats to our wildlife in Derbyshire and the UK from climate change and what can be done to help it cope and survive as the heat gets turned up.

He will also explore the implications for wildlife and climate legislation if we decide to pull-out of the European Union.

The event is free but there will be a collection. Refreshments will be available. Click here for the Facebook event link and let us know if you can help involve sympathetic organisations. They are welcome to have a stall and an input.


Sceptical about climate change? Just consider December’s weather

We think this article from Tuesday’s Independent is rather fine:Silk Mill flooding

As flooded homes painfully dry out, we should reflect and wake up to the broader truth, based not on computer predictions but the evidence in front of us, that we are entering a new climatic age.

Public perception of a changing world is sometimes slow to materialise, unless it is jolted by exceptionally violent events. Once the first atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima in August 1945 there was no doubt that humanity was in a different place; and similarly, the fall of New York’s twin towers in September 2001 unmistakably signalled a new world order.  Continue reading Sceptical about climate change? Just consider December’s weather

Paris and what next?

you are re invited to attend:

Paris and what next?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015 from 6:00 PM7:00 PM

Peter, Adrian, David and Leon return from the Paris Climate Talks. Hear what they have to say. Help us decide waht to do next. Some mince pies and mulled wine might be available so let us know if you can make it. We are meeting in room 11, no need to sign in.   A short Steering Group Meeting will be held at 5.45.  All welcome.

Click here to REGISTER.

Derby Council House

Corporation Street

Derby, England DE1 2FS

Question to Derby City Council about pension fund investments in Fossil Fuels

We are putting the following question to the full meeting of the Council on 6 pm, 25 November 2015.Divest_derbyshire

Considering that 80% of all known fossil fuels must stay in the ground to avoid warming by more than 2 degrees as well as the need to ensure Pension funds are not left in these potentially stranded assets, will the Council recommend that the Derbyshire County Council Pension Fund

  • Immediately freeze any new investments in fossil fuels?
  • Divest from direct ownership and any commingled funds that include fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds within 5 years


Continue reading Question to Derby City Council about pension fund investments in Fossil Fuels

Chair of Independent Committee on Climate Change speaks in Derby


On Thursday November the 5th John Selwyn Gummer – now Lord Deben – addressed a meeting of more than 100 people at Derby Cathedral.  An outspoken voice on climate change, Lord Deben chairs the Independent Committee on Climate Change and will be representing the UK at the Paris 2015 conference.

Continue reading Chair of Independent Committee on Climate Change speaks in Derby