Rachel Reeves MP calls for action on the climate crisis as she joins 8 Labour West Yorkshire MPs calling on West Yorkshire Pension Fund to divest from fossil fuels, as well as a cross-party group of over 200 current and former MPs that has called on the Parliamentary Pension Fund to phase out its substantial investment in fossil fuel giants such as Shell and BP, following growing concerns about climate breakdown.
Rachel Reeves has pledged her support for Fossil Free West Yorkshire , a campaign demanding that local councils stop funding the climate crisis via their pension fund by divesting from fossil fuels, the burning of which cause climate change. She has also signed the Divest Parliament Pledge, which calls on the Parliamentary Pension Fund to review and phase out investments in fossil fuel companies . The call follows growing concern among constituents about the environmental, social and financial risks posed by climate change.
Rachel Reeves, MP said: “Climate scientists have repeatedly warned that urgent political action must be taken to reduce carbon pollution from burning fossil fuels. This is why I support both Fossil Free West Yorkshire and the Divest Parliament campaigns to move investments of the pension funds away from fossil fuels and towards renewable technologies. I agree with many of my constituents: it doesn’t make sense for long-term pension funds to be investing in companies that aren’t committed to bringing about a clean energy future.”
Simon Campbell Skelling, one of her constituents who met Rachel Reeves to ask her to take action said: “The climate science is unequivocal: the vast majority of fossil fuels must stay in the ground to contain warming below 1.5 degrees. It is unacceptable for political leaders to be heavily investing in fossil fuels at a time of climate breakdown and I am very pleased Rachel Reeves agrees. We must invest in a world powered by clean energy – this will tackle climate change, create jobs and improve our health. We are delighted with the support from so many local MPs on this issue and would love to see Leeds council take action consistent with their claim that they are concerned about climate. Leeds council cannot say they are taking action on climate while at the same time paying the very companies who are driving climate breakdown.”
If successful, these campaigns would see West Yorkshire Pension Fund and the Parliamentary pension fund joining the Irish National Infrastructure Fund, the New York State Pension fund, local authorities such as Waltham Forest and Southwark and two thirds of UK universities in committing to fossil fuel divestment .
 Pledge text available here and full list of supportive MPs available here. The campaign asks the Pension Fund to ‘quantify, review and disclose its investments in carbon-intensive industries, engage in a dialogue with fund members and publicly commit to phasing out fossil fuel investments over an appropriate time-scale.’
 To date, over 1000 institutions across the globe – representing funds worth over $8 trillion – have made some form of divestment commitment. Full list of commitments available here.