Council criticised for investing in fossil fuels

Picture: Michael Gillen
Picture: Michael Gillen

Falkirk Council has been slammed for investing millions of pounds in firms which are linked with climate change.

According to a new report published by Common Weal, Unison Scotland and Friends of the Earth Scotland, the council invested £120 million in fossil fuels through its pension fund and only £45 million in renewable energy and social housing.

The report states the council invests £11.6 million in BP, who are fracking and drilling for oil in the Arctic, as well as having a history of campaigning against subsidies for renewable energy, and £5.5 million in BHP Billiton, one of the extractors of coal in the world, currently mining in the centre of the Borneo rainforest and facing prosecution over Brazil’s worst ever environmental disaster.

A Falkirk Council spokesperson said: “The Falkirk Pension Fund invests in a whole range of assets and is legally obliged to pursue the best financial position for the fund.

“However, the Fund regularly reviews its environmental, social and governance policy and is currently in the process of considering changes that will place a greater emphasis on climate change risk and guide the nature of future investments.

“The Fund has actively invested in social housing and has invested in a range of renewables infrastructure projects.”