Submitted by ian on Mon, 05/04/2021 - 11:44

 

 

divest brent logo

For over 3 years campaign group Divest Brent have been working to persuade the Council to divest its Pension Fund from fossil fuels. In 2019 the Council declared a Climate and Ecological Emergency and specifically agreed to redirect investments to renewal, sustainable and low carbon funds. Indeed some investments have been made in this area but the majority of the Pension Fund is still invested in funds which include fossil fuels. 

 Simon Erskine, Co-ordinator of Divest Brent, said “We welcome any moves by the Pension Fund to invest sustainably and to help with the transition to renewable energy – but the fact is that whatever green investments the Fund may have, while it continues to invest in fossil fuels it is part of the problem.”

 Having achieved nearly 1,400 signatures Divest Brent is now ready to submit its petition to the Council. On April 6 Councillor Matt Kelcher will present the petition to the Brent Cabinet on behalf of Divest Brent. Mr Erskine said “We were originally going to present the petition to the full Council meeting in July but the Cabinet will be discussing the Council’s draft Climate Emergency Strategy. Following campaigning by Divest Brent the draft Strategy now includes a section on the Pension Fund’s investments – and we decided that this was the best time to submit the petition, when the Cabinet was anyway looking at the issues involved.

 Divest Brent has written a joint letter to Councillor Krupa Sheth, Council Environment lead, with Brent Friends of the Earth, calling on the Council to divest the Pension Fund as part of the Climate Emergency Strategy.

 The presentation of the petition comes hot on the heels of a report entitled “Divesting to protect our pensions and the planet” which gave a comprehensive breakdown of the extent that UK Councils were invested in fossil fuels. 3% of Brent’s Pension Fund is thought to be invested in fossil fuels - £26 million. Compared to the £40 million invested in 2017 this looks like an improvement – until it is realised that much of the reduction is due to a fall in value of fossil fuel investments. 

 The Council has admitted that, while much of the Stock Market has suffered from Covid 19, they have lost £8 million by failing to divest from fossil fuels before the pandemic. They are not alone in this – with UK Councils having lost £2 billion altogether over the last 4 years – but £8 million is still a serious loss compared to the Pension Fund total of £800 million.

 With the outlook for fossil fuels never worse as the electric vehicle revolution starts to kick in and governments look to move away from gas as a means of heating our homes, Pension Fund committee members could find themselves in breach of their duties to protect the value of the Fund if they do not start to move seriously towards divestment.

Bunting stall in Queens Park

Submitted by ian on Mon, 18/10/2021 - 10:22

The final of our stalls making bunting with messages to send to COP26 took place outside the Queens Park Farmers' Market on October 17th.

It was a lively event, with adults and children joining in enthusiastically to decorate bunting pennants which will stay up outside Salusbury School for a while.

Below are some photos from the event, as well as a short video compiled by Martin Francis.

 

 

Bunting from Tulip Siddiq MP
Bunting from Tulip Siddiq MP

Demonstrate on 3rd and 6th November!

Submitted by ian on Thu, 07/10/2021 - 20:10

The culmination of our actions leading up to COP26 in Glasgow will be two national Friends of the Earth events – one to support divestment (including Divest Brent) on Wednesday, 3 November and the big Day of Action on Saturday, 6 November.

We would be very pleased if you could make it to one or both events.

November 3rd 

Brent FoE Flood and Nature Walk 26th September - report and pics

Submitted by ian on Tue, 28/09/2021 - 11:10

Nineteen people turned up for our walk along the Wealdstone Brook and River Brent, looking at the way this natural feature had been built upon and hidden, and highlighting the possible danger of flooding as climate change continues.

Martin Francis pointed out the route of the waterways, sometimes hidden under high tower blocks, with further development ongoing. Some parts of the walk took us through harsh concrete landscapes, some through much more pleasant environments, with well-used open spaces and some attractive meadowland (though in some places it was apparent that the invasive Japanese Knotweed still posed a threat).

The group paused at the pleasant shingle riverbank, where people made paper boats, which were adorned with messages about climate change, and launched into the water. Martin was also on hand to catch the boats downstream in his nets. Other boats made by Cllr Janice Long and Ruth Kitching, will be sent to Glasgow to be incorporated into an installation to be erected outside the COP26 meetings.

A more detailed account of the walk and issues behind it can be found on Martin's blog here.

Photos below are by Barney Laurance:

 

Martin talking

Our bunting stalls in Harlesden and Wembley

Submitted by ian on Fri, 10/09/2021 - 19:31

Here are some pictures from our stall in Harlesden on 10th September and Wembley on 25th September. Lots of engagement with people of all  ages - children were particularly keen to send a message about what should be done to stop climate change. More reporting and pictures at https://wembleymatters.blogspot.com/2021/09/harlesden-sends-resounding-….

 Next stall on October 17th in Queens Park. Details on front page.

 

Harlesden:

bunting8   bunting3

Activities in the run-up to COP26

Submitted by ian on Sun, 22/08/2021 - 17:46

In the run -up to COP26 (Conference of the Parties - an International Government Level Conference about Climate Change) Climate Action groups all over the country have been asked to be very active demanding much stronger action to combat Climate Change. Brent FoE has a number of activities plans. (see below OR click 'Read more' at bottom right) 

Can you help?

Hands holding earth