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Haringey to invest £200m in green fund

21 January 2016

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Haringey Borough Council in London has pledged to invest one third of its equity funds into a low carbon fund.

The ground-breaking pledge was agreed last week by the council's pensions committee.

Haringey will withdraw its investment in coal industries anywhere in the world while looking for new opportunities to invest in alternatives such as renewable energy.

Haringey Council's cabinet member for economic development, social inclusion and sustainability, Joe Goldberg, said the council wants to become London's first zero-carbon borough.

He said: "It doesn't make sense for us to continue to invest in fossil fuels when we want to reduce and end demand for them.'

'The interest in this issue from local campaigners shows how passionately people in Haringey feel about the environment, and we share that passion."

The council was lobbied by Friends of the Earth and local sustainability groups and was issued with a petition with more than 2,500 names.

The petition will be presented to a future full council meeting.

Friends of the Earth representative Quentin Given, told committee members they have a duty of care to its pension fund members.

As well as outlining the environmental risks of investing in fossil fuel, he pointed out the financial incentives.

"We are already seeing the value of coal companies dropping as the world moves towards renewable energy," he said.

Haringey Council's divestment decision follows similar choices at other organisations and institutions across the country, including South Yorkshire pension fund.

Globally institutions worth a combined $3.4tn have already committed to divesting their assets from fossil fuels.

Joe Goldberg added that providing a sound investment for pension fund members remained a priority.

"I'm proud that the council's pensions committee has agreed not only to move some funds into a low carbon fund, but to also consider investing in low carbon industry, giving us the opportunity to tackle carbon emissions while still getting the best return on our pension fund."

First published 21.01.2016

Lindsay.sharman@wilmingtonplc.com