East Sussex residents join global call for “fast and fair” transition from fossil fuels

#RiseforClimate photocall in Hastings UK, 8 September 2018. We have 3,000 signatures but need 5,000 to force a debate on divestment at County Hall in Lewes: https://tinyurl.com/esccdivest

Press release
Divest East Sussex [1]
9 September 2018

Locals call for end to County Council investment in oil, coal & gas, and global push for renewables

Saturday 8 September 2018: Members of the public from across East Sussex took part in a global day of action on climate change yesterday (Saturday 8 September) with a photocall and petition-drive on Hastings sea front.

An estimated 250,000 people took part in thousands of actions in 90 countries across the world, from Papua New Guinea to Panama, as part of Rise for Climate, a day of action calling for a fast and fair transition to a world without fossil fuels (oil, coal and gas) and 100% renewable energy for all [2].

Those at the Hastings event also made a short animation [3] to publicise a push for East Sussex residents to sign a petition calling on East Sussex County Council to stop investing local people’s pensions in fossil fuels [4]. The ‘Divest East Sussex’ petition already has over 3,000 signatures and requires 5,000 to force a debate at County Hall.

The East Sussex Pension Fund – which is administered by the County Council and holds the pensions for a wide range of organisations from across East Sussex – is estimated to have at least £150m invested in fossil fuels [5].

Three members of the East Sussex Fund – Hastings Borough Council, Lewes Town Council and Brighton and Hove City Council – have already passed motions calling on the Fund to divest from fossil fuels [6].

St Leonards resident Emily Johns said: “We can’t keep powering our lives with dirty fuels from the last century. It’s time to repower our communities with clean, renewable energy from the sun, earth, wind and water. We need every local government and institution to commit to building 100% renewable energy and stopping new dirty energy projects in their community. Anything less than that is out of line with what science and justice demand.”

Hastings resident Gabriel Carlyle added: “The Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has warned that investors in fossil fuels face ‘potentially huge losses’ from climate change action that could make vast reserves of oil, coal and gas ‘literally unburnable’ – so-called “stranded assets” [7]. It’s high time that East Sussex County Council decided to ditch these dirty and risky fuels that pose a clear and present danger to local people’s pensions.”

#RiseforClimate photocall in Hastings UK, 8 September 2018. We need 5,000 signatures to force a debate on divestment at County Hall in Lewes: https://tinyurl.com/esccdivest


[1] https://fossilfreehastings.wordpress.com

[2] https://riseforclimate.org/

[3] https://tinyurl.com/divestanimation

[4] https://campaigns.gofossilfree.org/petitions/divest-east-sussex-pension-fund-from-fossil-fuels

[5] ‘Breakdown of equity exposure’ in ‘Climate change, carbon risk and investments’, document circulated by investment consultants Hymans Robertson at the East Sussex Pension Fund training day on 13 June 2017.

[6] ‘Campaigners’ joy as Hastings council agrees fossil fuel divestment’, 14 April 2016, Hastings Observer, http://www.hastingsobserver.co.uk/news/local/campaigners-joy-as-hastings-council-agrees-fossil-fuel-divestment-1-7328414. ‘Lewes Town Council calls for East Sussex Pension Fund to ditch its investments in oil, coal and gas’, 7 March 2017, https://fossilfreehastings.wordpress.com/2017/03/07/lewes-town-council-calls-for-east-sussex-pension-fund-to-ditch-its-investments-in-oil-coal-and-gas. ‘Brighton Council calls for East Sussex Pension Fund to ditch fossil fuels’, 6 April 2017, https://fossilfreehastings.wordpress.com/2017/04/06/brighton-council-calls-for-east-sussex-pension-fund-to-ditch-fossil-fuels.

[7] ‘Breaking the tragedy of the horizon – climate change and financial stability – speech by Mark Carney ‘, 29 September 2016, http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/publications/Pages/speeches/2015/844.aspx.

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