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London Assembly votes to divest from fossil fuels

12 March 2015

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The London Assembly has today passed a motion calling on City Hall and the London Pension Fund Authority to divest from fossil fuels.

The motion, drawn up by campaign group Divest London and filed by Green Party assembly member Jenny Jones, who says it will help to push fossil fuel divestment up the agenda for the 2016 mayoral race in the UK capital.

Backed by a coalition of Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green Party members with a 15?3 majority, the motion calls on the mayor of London to change the city's investment policy to exclude fossil fuels from the GBP 2bn GLA Group Investment Syndicate, and ask the chair of the GBP 4.8bn London Pension Fund Authority (LPFA) to commit to divestment over the coming years.

Jenny Jones, Green Party member, chair of the economy committee, and deputy chair of the police and crime committee said: "We have a chance to show real leadership on climate change, starting by making sure our pensions don't fund more fossil fuel extraction."

The group is also calling on the current London mayor, Boris Johnson, to step up his activity on climate change to place the city at the forefront of tackling global climate change.

Murad Qureshi, deputy chair of London assembly environment committee, said: "Agreeing to divest from fossil fuels would not only boost London's contribution to tackling climate change and secure our capital's future prosperity, it would offer reassurance to those concerned the Mayor had lost sight of this objective.

'By publicly supporting the principle of divestment and committing to avoid investment in schemes connected with fossil fuel extraction, Boris Johnson could trigger the process that leads to London becoming a world leader in tackling the injustice of climate change."

Dr Zoe Steley, from Divest London said: "We will use this clear mandate from Londoners and the London Assembly to keep up the pressure on Boris to stand with his constituents."

The vote comes less than two weeks after Oslo became the first capital in the world to take an important step towards fossil fuel divestment by committing to divest from coal.

These recent endorsements follow the first UK municipal divestment commitments by Oxford and Bristol City Councils, and from another 37 other cities worldwide to divest from fossil fuels.

First published 12.03.2015

Lindsay.sharman@wilmingtonplc.com