Green London Aseembly member Jenny Jones has won a vote calling on Boris Johnson to pull City Hall’s £4.8bn pension fund out of coal, oil and gas investments.
The motion calls on the mayor to publicly support the principle of divestment and to begin the process of dumping the fossil fuel portfolio of the London Pension Fund Authority (LPFA). But the vote is non-binding, meaning the mayor is bound only to consider its proposals and write a response.
The motion was proposed by the Green party’s Jenny Jones and was unanimously supported by Labour and the Liberal Democrats. Six of the Conservative’s nine members were absent. Those who were present voted against.
Jones said she was “delighted” the motion had passed and while it had no executive value it would force Johnson to seriously consider divestment.
“It’s impossible to know what the mayor thinks on any one subject at any given hour of the day, quite honestly,” said Jones. “And I would imagine that he would think this is scaremongering. But people who know more about climate change than he does, which isn’t difficult obviously, feel that this is an urgent threat. And I think there’s a lot of people out there that think this is very timely and might even encourage the mayor to listen.”
The mayor was not present at the plenary meeting and declined to comment on his position on divestment.
A spokesperson for Johnson said: “The Mayor will consider all of the Assembly’s motions at today’s plenary. The Mayor takes climate change mitigation extremely seriously and is helping drive forward the transition to a low carbon economy.”
Following that, Lambeth Green Party renewed its call for Lambeth Council to pull its pension fund out of its £25 million investments in coal, gas and oil.
Lambeth Green Party councillor Scott Ainslie said: “Divesting from fossil fuels not only makes financial sense, but it is the right thing to do. Lambeth Council should be showing leadership and demonstrating a positive way forward, where it is not seeking to profit from the drivers of climate change. The Council cannot move the borough in a greener direction without putting its own house in order. Shifting the Council’s pension funds to more sustainable sources will make them more secure and help in the global fight against climate change.”