Thursday, 27 November 2014


If we can get 3000 signatures, then we can force WSCC to debate this issue and hopefully divest their Unethical Pension Fund Investments in Fracking Companies such as Cuadrilla, IGas & Celtique Energie.

You MUST have a valid West Sussex Postcode to sign. Please share by email, Facebook and Twitter.

We Call on West Sussex County Council to commit to a program of divestment away from unethical, unsocial and/or non-environmental industries in its Pension Fund.

Background information

The WSCC Pension Fund website states "The Pensions Panel has directed the fund managers, acting in the best financial interests of the scheme, to consider, amongst other factors, the effects of social, environmental and ethical issues of the performance of a company when considering the acquisition, retention or realisation of investments for the scheme."

However, the Pension Fund has more than £82.5 million invested in the fossil fuel industries. It is a proven fact that fossil fuels are a significant contributor to greenhouse gasses and climate change.

More than 80% (or £66.3 million) of WSCC's fossil fuel investments are in companies known to be wholly or partly engaged in the process of hydraulic fracturing.

The WSCC Pension Fund also holds investments in companies such as Celtique Energie whom are currently applying for, or hold, permissions for drilling of oil and gas in West Sussex. WSCC has a legal duty to seek the best financial return from its investments and so, arguably, has an interest in the success of such companies. Such a perception - whether unfounded or not - could lead to damage to the reputation of the Council and its decision making process.

More than £4.5 million is invested in the Arms Trade via BAE Systems. BAE Systems has received much criticism in the past for its involvement in cluster munitions, arms sales to regimes known for Human Rights abuses and its involvement in nuclear weapons production. BAE Systems manufactures the UK's nuclear submarine fleet and airborne nuclear defense missiles for the French Air Force.

In 2006, the Norwegian Government removed BAE Systems entirely from its own Pension Fund "because they develop and/or produce central components for nuclear weapons...companies that produce weapons that through normal use may violate fundamental humanitarian principles shall be excluded from the fund."

More than £17.59 million of the WSCC Pension Fund is invested in the tobacco industry.

In total, £104,627,731.64 of the Pension Fund is invested in industries that cannot be said to be ethical, social or environmental in consideration.

The Petitioners are aware that WSCC has a legal duty to ensure best financial returns from its investments and so we ask that the Council commits itself within the next year to a 5 to 10 year period of divestment from the fossil fuel, arms and tobacco industries. This will allow the gradual removal of these industries from the Pension Fund without causing harm to any financial returns.
Please note that signatures must include a valid West Sussex Postcode to provide proof that you live, work or study in West Sussex

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