The West Sussex Local Government Pension Fund is currently responsible for the pension benefits – and future benefits – of thousands of employees (WSCC employees, Local District Council employees, school teachers employed in West Sussex etc).
In 2019 it was known that the pension fund invested approximately £200 million in Fossil Fuel companies (we do not know the exact figure for 2020, although we do know that the share prices for BP, Shell etc have dropped significantly).
The divestment campaign was started in spring 2016 by Worthing Climate Action (WCAN), and asked the WSCC Pension Fund to divest all their funds from fossil fuel companies. In Nov 2017, following a petition, WCAN gave a detailed presentation to the WSCC Pension Committee, and presented strong arguments for divestment.
Various actions took place during 2018 and 2019 which culminated on 15th Feb 2020 with “The Valentine’s Day Divestment Demo” at the Chichester Council Offices (combined with Youth Strike day). This was supported by various environmental groups from around the county.
In early 2020 the CEO of Worthing Borough council wrote to Jeremy Hunt (Chair of WSCC Pensions Committee) asking them to divest. Read more