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Council pensions invest £9 billion in fracking industry

Words: Huw Morris

Local authority pension funds are investing more than £9 billion in the global fracking industry despite many councils voting against the controversial developments in their areas.

The councils with the highest percentage of their pension funds invested in fracking are Dumfries and Galloway, Greater Manchester, and the London Borough of Merton, each with about 6-7 per cent of the total fund invested in fracking companies.

A joint analysis by campaigners Platform London, 350.org and Friends of the Earth reveals that the Greater Manchester Pension Fund invests the largest amount in the global fracking industry at almost £1 billion.

Friends of the Earth divestment campaigner Deirdre Duff said it is “shocking” that councils oppose fracking in their areas yet support the industry globally.

“UK councils should know better than to invest in fracking companies,” she added. “These companies are inflicting their fracking due to the impact of climate change operations on communities around the world and the world and this can have significant impacts.”

Pension funds at two local authorities – the London Boroughs of Southwark and Waltham Forest – have pledged to phase out all fossil fuel investments in their portfolios.

Image credit | iStock