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UN calls on pension funds to cut investments in fossil fuels

The United Nations is calling on pension funds to cut investments in oil companies and other fossil fuel businesses in a bid to tackle climate change.

Speaking at a climate change summit in Copenhagen yesterday, UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon said big investors such as insurers and pension funds should cut their investments in fossil fuels and focus on renewable energy sources instead.

Ki-moon was speaking at the launch of a Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report which stated “substantial reductions in emissions would require large changes in investment patterns”.

At the NAPF annual conference last year, Prince Charles caused a stir by attacking the short-termism of pension funds and calling for more sustainable investments.

Ki-moon said: “I have been urging companies like pension funds or insurance companies to reduce their investments in a fossil-fuel based economy [and shift] to renewable sources of energy.”

Global climate campaign group 350.org called on investments in fossil fuels to fall by tens of billions of dollars.

350.org executive director May Boeve says: “The report strengthens the case for fossil fuel divestment. It clearly states that the vast majority of coal, oil and gas must remain underground and that investments in the sector must fall by tens of billions of dollars a year. The fossil fuel industry’s business plan and a liveable planet are simply incompatible.”

The GoFossilFree campaign has called on the UN to set an example and divest its investments in fossil fuels from its £33bn staff retirement funds.

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