Hand-embroidered ties used to deliver climate message to Councillors

Press Release
Divest East Sussex [1] and Climate Craftivists [2]
19 November

HAND-EMBROIDERED TIES USED TO DELIVER CLIMATE MESSAGE TO COUNCILLORS
Members of the East Sussex Pension Committee invited to stop funding climate change and join fossil fuel divestment “club”

19 November, 2019: Five hand-embroidered ties are being delivered to the five members of the East Sussex Pension Committee today, alongside a formal invitation for them to stop funding climate change and join the fossil fuel divestment “club”. The ties, which have been hand-embroidered by members of the Climate Craftivists, each bear the Divest East Sussex logo, the Councillor’s initials and an image of something close to the heart of the Councillor concerned.

East Sussex County Council (ESCC) currently invests £145 million of the East Sussex Pension Fund in the giant oil and gas companies that are driving our current climate crisis – companies like Exxon, Shell and BP – through the East Sussex Pension Fund [3]. The five members of the East Sussex Pension Committee – Simon Elford (Cons, Bexhill), Nigel Enever (Cons, Pevensey), Gerard Fox (Cons, Hailsham), David Tutt (Lib Dem, Eastbourne) and Trevor Webb (Labour, Hastings) – are the ultimate decision-makers regarding these investments.

The ties, all packaged up

Oil and gas companies like BP and Exxon are projected to spend $4.9 trillion dollars over the next decade developing new oil and gas fields, none of which investment is compatible with capping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius [4].

Over 1,100 institutions around the world – including several UK pension funds – have already made some form of commitment to divest (that is, move their money out of) fossil fuels [5]. The County Council recently rejected a motion calling on it to stop funding climate change on the same day that it declared a “climate emergency” [6]

Each tie took 3 hours to embroider with the Divest East Sussex insignia and the Councillor’s initials, and the necktie styles were chosen based on those featured in the official Pension Committee photo.

Lynne Salvage from Climate Craftivists said: “We have delivered these bespoke, unique hand-embroidered ties to Councillors Fox, Tutt, Webb, Elford and Enever as part of an invitation to them to set a date for divesting the East Sussex Pension Fund from the fossil fuel investments that are threatening the survival of my daughter and her children. We hope that they will be proud to wear when they meet to become members of the global Divestment ‘club’.”

Gabriel Carlyle from Divest East Sussex said: “The County Council has repeatedly claimed that it isn’t possible for them to stop investing in the giant oil and gas companies that are driving the climate crisis. But the 1,100 institutions around the world – including several UK pension funds – who are already doing so give the lie to this claim. Investments companies like Shell and BP are a disaster for the planet and bad for local pension fund members. It’s time to divest the East Sussex Pension Fund from fossil fuels.”

A message to Pension Committee member Cllr David Tutt from an East Sussex pensioner

NOTES

[1] https://divesteastsussex.wordpress.com
[2] The Climate Craftivists quietly support influential individuals to act positively for people and planet.
[3] Response by the Chair of the Pension Committee to Frances Witt, 16 October 2018: https://democracy.eastsussex.gov.uk/documents/b12581/Item%204%20-%20Questions%20from%20members%20of%20the%20public%2016th-Oct-2018%2010.00%20Full%20Council.pdf?T=9
[4] https://www.globalwitness.org/en/campaigns/oil-gas-and-mining/overexposed
[5] https://gofossilfree.org/divestment/commitments. Examples of UK pension funds that re in the process of divesting include the local government pension schemes for both Southwark and Cardiff.
[6] https://divesteastsussex.wordpress.com/2019/10/15/323/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s