Cllr Stephen Dunlop has slammed a decision taken by some Councillors in Ards and North Down Borough Council’s Corporate Committee last night (Tuesday 14th September) to vote against divestment in fossil fuels.
He said, “In July 2019 Green Party councillors proposed a motion that the council ask NILGOSC to divest from investment in fossil fuels, following being the first Council in Northern Ireland declaring a climate emergency. Council did hear from the pension provider, who advised council that it had divested some 80% of its investment in fossil fuels and was reluctant to divest further due to returns. This is not enough.”
“The decision was apparently taken on the basis of a survey of 19 staff out for 800 plus across the Council who did not hold strong views on such an issue. Despite this, DUP, UUP and independent Councillors voted against the Council backing divestment.
The Bangor Central Green Party Councillor stated, “Our role in local government is to influence in the most effective means possible, including where our pensions are invested to. Our Corporate Plan even states that “we are committed to a sustainable future, ensuring that the activities and decisions taken forward within this plan advance the economic, social and environmental needs of future generations”. This was not reflected in the decision taken on Tuesday evening.
“We are in a climate emergency. We need full divestment from the coal, oil and gas industry.”