With the COP climate talks in full swing in the UAE, most of the world has their fingers very firmly crossed that the summit will produce significant, binding resolutions about leaving coal and oil in the ground. But what about us? How can we help the planet in divesting from fossil fuels?
The answer may be simple: your pension. For example, pension funds in both the US and the UK are investing billions in fossil fuel companies. Over $80 billion on both sides of the pond. So, whilst you may be keen to invest in companies that put the planet alongside profit, through your pension funds you could be unwittingly backing fossil fuels (or even weaponry).
“Cut your carbon 21x more than going veggie, giving up flying and switching energy provider simply by making your pension green,” says Henna Shah from the UK's Make My Money Matter, a campaign group that highlights what people’s pensions are funding. “Speak to your employer and your pension provider and say, ‘actually, I want an option where I’m not investing in these things,’” advises Shah.
So, wherever you live, why not switch to a green pension? Or tell your pension provider that you don't want your money invested in the fossil fuel industry. Surely, we want our money to be invested in the solutions to the climate crisis, not those businesses fuelling the fire?
As world leaders gather in Dubai for the COP climate talks, Academy Award-winning actress Olivia Colman dressed up as latex-wearing oil exec Oblivia Coalmine in a satirical ad to show how pensions fund fossil fuel projects.
The video was produced by Make My Money Matter, a campaign group led by screenwriter Richard Curtis. It says that switching to a greener pension is one of the most impactful things people can do for the climate. Here's the video...