Divest Lothian is a campaign group calling on the Lothian Pension Fund to stop investing in fossil fuel companies and invest more in renewable energy and other sustainable and ethical sectors, to create a more financially and environmentally sustainable pension fund.
The companies that the fund invests in – including fossil fuel producers and processors – continue to operate in a way that is fundamentally incompatible with international agreements to limit global heating to under 2 degrees. It is widely agreed that the vast majority of fossil fuels must remain in the ground if we are to avoid catastrophic levels of warming but fossil fuel companies are continuing to seek out and exploit further reserves.
This also makes investment in these companies a major financial risk, given that their valuation is based on activities that cannot continue. Moving our money away from destructive companies and into climate solutions is one of the most important steps we can take, one that is already being pursued by hundreds of major institutions.
Who we are
Our grassroots group of constituents includes members of the Lothian Pension Fund, trade union members, students, environmentalists and pensioners, who all object to the investment of local government and public body employees’ pensions in the fossil fuel industry, when Scotland and the world needs to transition away from fossil fuels to prevent worsening climate change and create sustainable and healthy jobs.
The Lothian Pension Fund invests the pensions of employees of the City of Edinburgh Council, West Lothian, East Lothian and Midlothian Councils, Scottish Water, Visit Scotland, Edinburgh Leisure, universities including Heriot-Watt and Napier, and 72 other public bodies and charities in Edinburgh and the Lothians. See page 69 of the Fund’s Annual Report and Accounts for a full list of employers.
What we do
We employ a number of tactics in pursuit of these aims:
- Meeting with and writing to our councillors, telling them about our research and our concerns, and asking them to take specific actions.
- Asking councillors and members of the fund to sign up to our pledge, which states “I call on the Lothian Pension Fund to divest from fossil fuels.”
- Researching and publishing writing about the Lothian Pension Fund and the need for divestment.
- Organising fun, highly visual actions to attract media and press coverage.
- Holding workshops to inform other members of the public about divestment and encourage them to take action with us.
Please see our contact us page for ways to connect with us, find out more and/or get involved.