Extinction Rebellion protesters will rally outside the offices of two Somerset councils this week over the council pension scheme’s allocation to fossil fuels.
The demonstrations against the Somerset County Council pensions committee form part of Extinction Rebellion's latest national campaign, which is focused on fossil fuels.
The Taunton branch of the environmental movement said the council's continued investment in fossil fuels comes despite the fact that the county council and four district councils declared a climate emergency in February 2019. It will protest outside the Somerset West and Taunton Council.
Meanwhile, the South Somerset branch of Extinction Rebellion will protest outside the South Somerset District Council offices in Yeovil at the same time, in order to highlight the council's failure to send a representative to the committee meeting.
A total of 67,000 staff from all five councils in Somerset already receive, or will receive, council pensions. Extinction Rebellion said the increasing climate risk makes the fund's continued investment in fossil fuels dangerous, however, especially as they are becoming financially more unreliable.
Professional Pensions has contacted Somerset Council County for comment.
Last year, the climate action group crashed the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association's local authority conference to protest around £14bn of fossil fuel investments from Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) funds.
Then minister for local government Rishi Sunak - now chancellor of the Exchequer - said LGPS investment decisions were a matter for the individual funds.
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