For its 142,532 members it is good news, so is it for the rest of us. Kent County Council’s Pension Fund has in the main divested itself of oil and gas stock which contribute towards climate change.
Divestment is a practical, legal and responsible way for pension funds to respond to climate change by making an example of the climate change’s worst offenders: fossil fuels companies.
It is good to see that KCC’s pension fund investments in 2020/21 invested into renewables and grew from £5.7 billion to £7.4 billion.
For the second year in a row Kent County Council Pension Fund have divested pension assets from BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin. They now hold no investments in these companies. So, people who invest into this fund no longer indirectly contribute towards the making of weapons used across the world to maim and kill. According to the 2020/21 investments, they do hold shares in Amazon (£5.4m), Alphabet Inc (£7.8m) but not Facebook.
In 2020/21 they had no holdings in Royal Dutch Shell or BP, but did have holdings of £2m in Petrobras, £2m in Petroleos, £2.3 million in Lukoil, and £2m in Glencore who contribute to climate and ecological change. However it is encouraging they have all signed up to Climate Action 100+.
We note the KCC Pension Fund continues to invest in companies registered in known offshore tax jurisdictions such as Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Luxembourg and Jersey for example.
And we note the Pension Fund continues to invest in countries where LGBTQI rights are denied, such as Russia, Serbia, Dominican Republic and Turkey for example.
During 2020/21 the Kent Pension Fund received a total of £18.421m from the Woodford Fund ontop of the £138.9m it received on 30 January 2020, meaning that there is just £80.7 million to collect.
The KCC Pension Fund investments have come a long way since we began writing about them in 2017. They still have a long way to go to become truly ethical. We are sure given the focusing of minds as has happened on Climate Change, the fund can do better on investing into countries whose LGBTQI rights records are poor to nonexistent.
If you spot anything of interest in the Pension Investments of KCC do let us know by contacting us at shepwayvox [at] riseup[dot]net.
The Shepway Vox Team
The Velvet Voices of Dissent
Main Photograph: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland/Trócaire/350.org