To divest or not divest, that is the question?

I’m sat in the Cherwell District Council meeting writing this, listening to a debate about a motion to divest pension funds. There are a bunch of conservative councillors arguing that we need to keep their pension funds in oil companies as they believe that with their infrastructure and research potential, they can be part of the solution.

On the pro divestment side we have Green and Labour councillors arguing that we need to divest the funds, as oil companies simply won’t take action, and divestment is one of the quickest routes to tackling climate change. Ultimately they say we need to do something radical as they don’t trust on business as usual.

I’m on the side of those that believe that we can’t trust the pension fund managers and work shops with them, to ensure we influence fossil fuel companies to make change. I simply can’t believe that a small investor can actually have a big influence on these companies.

It’s a big shame that a council which has declared a climate emergency still is divided about a simple issue like this, especially when it doesn’t put funds at risk. It feels to me that the battle about an issue like divestment is part of a bigger debate in these types of councils about how seriously they are willing to take the climate emergency.

What do others think. Keep investments in fossil fuels as we believe the likes of BP are part of the solution, or keep on taking money out of them as this is the biggest form of influence?

So, as the conservative councillors held the majority they opted not to divest the pension funds. It beggars belief!