Friends of the Earth Scotland are preparing to publish new analysis on Sunday, breaking down the Scottish parliament’s £2.1 million pension fund investments in fossil fuels. Because investing in the industry that employs so many Scottish people is apparently “unethical”.
Friends of the Earth Scotland is also propped up by the taxpayer, Scottish parliamentarians voted to give them a grant. English taxpayers’ money is being given away by the Scottish government to an organisation trying to undermine the future financial well-being of members of their very own Scottish Parliament.
The BMJ, one of the world’s oldest and most respected general medical journals, have condemned capitalism for inducing behaviours that conflict with “ecological health“.
“There should also be agreement that the primary and legally bound duty of fossil fuel companies to maximise profit for shareholders induces behaviours that conflict with ecological health and the public interest.”
The punchy claim was made in a peer reviewed editorial backing the Guardian’s nutty campaign for charities to withdraw their investments from fossil fuel companies and coincided with an open letter signed by the BMJ’s editor-in-chief that also backed the campaign. According to the BMJ paper, the world has a “23 year deadline” to prevent “unprecedented harm to global health”. Half of the editorial’s authors work for Greenpeace front “medical charity” Medact…
Saudi Arabia have come out in support of the Guardian’s campaign to keep fossil fuels in the ground:
The hated, oppressive regime which opposes everything our country holds dear, joins forces with Saudi Arabia…
Alan Rusbridger is very coy about whether the Guardian makes money from fossil fuel companies, despite campaigning for the Wellcome Trust and Gates Foundation to divest their investments from them. In a recent Q&A, Rusbridger wriggled around the straightforward “Will The Guardian refuse advertising from fosil fuel companies?” question, claiming that his commercial director “didn’t think we took vast sums from fossil fuel companies.”
Funny, then, that the coal mining company Anglo American both sponsors the Guardian’s “social impact hub” and pays for a whole “partner zone” worth of “advertisement features” within the Guardian’s “sustainable business” section.
Anglo American is one of the fossil fuel companies in which the Gates Foundations invests…
Boris Johnson has roundly rejected a motion from the London Assembly that called for City Hall’s pension fund to pull out of fossil fuel investments. The motion, inspired by the Guardian’s nutty divestment campaign, called on Boris to put the retirement of London’s public workers at risk in order to stop the “havoc of climate change“.
Boris, who famously said “no stone should be left unfracked in the cause of keeping the lights on,” poo-pooed the motion, likening the idea of pulling investment from the companies that keep the worlds poor warm to jumping off a cliff edge.
Let’s hope the next Mayor is equally sound…
BBC Environment Correspondent Helen Briggs has an explainer article out today on the pros and cons of the campaign to get people to divest from oil and gas companies. The piece could easily have been part of the Guardian’s own fossil fuels divestment coverage launched this month.
The ‘scientific’ viewpoint on divestment is dealt with in one sentence:
“Scientific studies show that existing fossil fuel reserves are several times greater than can be burned if the world’s governments are to fulfil their pledge to keep global warming below the limit of 2C regarded as the threshold of dangerous climate change.“
Just read Helen’s conclusion and see if you can tell which side of the ‘lets screw over the third world by forcing them to keep cooking over wood stoves’ debate she stands on…
“One view is that the recent drop in oil prices presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for governments to get rid of fossil fuel subsidies and introduce a price on carbon. This generally goes against government thinking and concern over job losses in the oil and gas industry. With the divestment campaign gathering pace – and momentum building for the Paris climate talks in December – there is renewed hope among campaigners. But with environmental policies getting little attention in the UK election, and coal, oil and gas companies continuing to spend billions on exploration, NGOs are already upping their rhetoric in calling for renewed government efforts over climate change.”
Fair and balanced…