Will divestment put my pension at risk?

by Andrea Loken and Kevin Bowers – both teachers in Limestone OSSTF District 27 and ECA co-founders

This is the first in a series of posts that will answer several of the questions we are being asked regarding the divestment strategy.

Increasingly, the experts are saying that there is a great risk to keeping fossil fuels in investment portfolios, including pensions. Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, along with the World Bank has stated this, admitting that the writing is on the wall for fossil fuel investments since 80% of known reserves are unburnable if humans are to deal with climate change.

The findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) supports our immediate and grave concerns. The IPCC is not a bunch of radicals. The viewpoint the IPCC states is a conservative one as it represents the consensus of hundreds of scientists and politicians. The IPCC says that if we hold to the status quo we are headed for a 4oC – 6oC warmer world by the end of the century. Humanity has not existed on a planet so warm.

If 80% of the fossil fuels must remain in the ground, it gives us 15 years before we blow our “carbon budget”. Here is a video illustrating this. If we decide to put the brakes on fossil fuels right now, we MIGHT not go over the cliff. Educators and their unions can help apply the pressure needed to make the necessary change.

Pensions are long-term investments, and fossil fuels are not a good long-term investment. Eventually citizens, governments and banks will decide to act to avert sure disaster. Let’s show courage and leadership and divest now before the planet is cooked.

* * * * *

p.s. Please consider sharing our blog/posts and petition on your social media platform or share with friends and colleagues via email. If we are to affect change as quickly as is necessary, we really need everyone to become involved. All of us have a stake in our pensions and care about a planet that is livable in the future. The urgency is only going to become more and more apparent. No one is coming to save us. The power is within ourselves – each individual – to change the current system. We hope you can join the growing chorus!

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