Southwark Council commits to low-carbon investment

Southwark Council has taken its first step as part of the commitment to cut its investments in fossil fuels by agreeing to move £150 million into the Blackrock Low Carbon Target Equity Fund.

The London authority’s decision will allow the pension fund to continue to maintain long-term investment performance whilst reducing the risks inherent in fossil fuel assets, as well as having 70 per cent less greenhouse gas exposure than before.

Fiona Colley, cabinet member for Finance, Modernisation and Performance said: “I am delighted to announce that we are making early and positive moves to reduce the carbon exposure of our Pension Fund. This was a decision based not just on our political and ethical concerns, but primarily on our belief that climate change and significant investments in fossil fuels present a long term financial risk to our fund. This initial investment represents 10 per cent of the total fund and we have in place plans to transfer further assets into low carbon investments, while ensuring consistent performance and keeping fees and costs at competitive levels.

“As well as reducing our investments in fossil fuels we are also looking at ways the fund can benefit from the opportunities of new, sustainable and increasingly profitable sectors such as solar and wind power generation and modern battery technology. With this in mind, we will be entering into a selection process in the coming months for sustainable infrastructure investment funds."