Agenda item


To receive any deputations notified under Standing Order 12.


The Panel and Board received a deputation from Mr Tony Langridge a deferred member, speaking on agenda item 9, the Pension Fund’s Business Plan, representing the Dirty Money Campaign.


Mr Langridge stressed that we are all living in a climate emergency and individuals often feel powerless, however the Pension Fund has power that individuals lack, and therefore it would be wonderful if it showed leadership in this area rather than appearing to be reluctant to seriously consider divestment. The Dirty Money Campaign would like the Fund’s investments to help meet, not undermine, the world’s goal to limit global heating to 1.5 degrees Celsius.


Mr Langridge highlighted that it had been reported that the Pension Fund has an estimated £136m directly invested in the fossil fuels industry. He described these investments as dirty money and asserted that these could soon become stranded assets. He highlighted examples of sustainable investments that had achieved strong recent returns.


Mr Langridge stated that the Pension Fund’s Business Plan reflects a lack of urgency in this whole area, and despite this, the last Annual Report identified climate change as ‘a systemic risk and thus a material long term financial risk’ but he couldn’t see in the Business Plan any direction to urgently address this risk. He suggested that the Fund’s investment managers should not be just required to consider Environmental, Social and Governmental factors but directed to reduce all investment in companies with carbon intensive operations.


Mr Langridge highlighted the good practice of a number of investors having formally adopted the 1.5 degrees C alignment as a core commitment and are the members of the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance; these investors were hailed at COP26 as a gold standard of what financial institutions of all sizes should be doing. Mr Langridge stated that it would be good to see an ambition from Hampshire to be the best in this area, such as joining the Institutional Investor Group on Climate Change’s Net Zero Investment Framework. This group has 360 members including a number of local authority pension funds including West Midlands, West Yorkshire, Tayside, Lothian, Islington, Newham and more locally Wiltshire.


Mr Langridge noted the potential risks of Climate Change, for example large areas of Hampshire are at risk of rising sea levels and coastal flooding by 2030. Mark Carney has said investors should stay with polluting companies and support them to transition, however Mr Langridge believes this is a dangerous approach as it ignores that for most companies profit maximisation comes before the future of the planet, and so the Pension Fund needs to look for commitment from those companies it invests the members money in; the Fund needs companies and investment funds that demonstrably commit to guarding the 1.5 degree C goal.


Mr Langridge concluded by pointing to the Glasgow Climate Pact which showed the goal of a 1.5 degrees C limit written clearly for all to see and asked if the Pension Fund would;

·         acknowledge it,

·         act on it without further delay, and

·         take a leading rather than passive approach.


Cllr Kemp-Gee thanked Mr Langridge for his deputation.