In 2019 Fife Council made a declaration of a Climate Emergency thereby acknowledging that carbon emissions must be reduced to net zero. However the council’s pension fund remains partly invested in the fossil fuel industry and thus in greenhouse gas emitting activities.
Mark Carney, former Bank of England governor, has warned that many fossil fuel assets will no longer be viable if companies and countries keep their commitments to reach net-zero carbon emissions. Assets which remain invested in fossil fuels would become “stranded” and therefore lose all value. Recent analysis by Platform and Friends of the Earth Scotland has estimated that in 2020 the Fife Pension Fund had £70,102,646 invested in the fossil fuel industry (2.9% of total fund investments). Analysis of the changes in value of fossil fuel investments over the period 2017-2020 indicate that Fife Pension Fund made a loss of £2,356,219. Investment in the renewables industry might make a better alternative, thus allowing the Pension Fund to incorporate Environmental and Social Governance factors in its investment practices.
Glasgow City Council, who administers the Strathclyde Pension Fund, voted in April for a Scottish Greens motion to write to the pension fund asking for a managed withdrawal of its pension investments from fossil fuels. A request by a Scottish Greens councillor has led to a similar action by Stirling Council. A comparable action on Fife’s part would demonstrate that The Council is taking its own Declaration of a Climate Emergency seriously.