This Council notes:
- The threat of global climate change and the need to act against it both nationally and locally
- The responsibility of this Council to act to reduce its carbon footprint
- That the Law Commission reviewed the meaning of fiduciary duty as it applies to investments in 2014, concluding that “Where trustees think ethical or environmental, social or governance (ESG) issues are financially material they should take them into account.”
- That there is nonetheless a risk for this Council in any non-financial considerations in investment policy, and therefore before any such change, the implications should be studied and considered carefully.
Further, Council recognises the growing number of commercial, educational and governmental organisations deciding to support low carbon investment:
- Bristol Council’s decision alter its investment policy to exclude companies whose core activities cover fossil fuel extraction
- The Norwegian Government’s decision to divest from fossil fuel investment in its pension fund
- The over 150 companies, including Hewlet-Packard, BT Group & Volvo who have signed up to the “We mean business” coalition’s aims
Council notes that the University of Cambridge have this year launched a wide ranging report into its £2.2bn endowments fund, and endorses this cautious
Therefore Council resolves to:
- direct the Chief Executive (or delegated officer) to write to the University group asking that Cambridgeshire County Council be part of it the University’s work in this regard;
- recommend that the Cambridgeshire County Council Pension Committee consider whether to include the Cambridgeshire County Council pension fund within the University’s analysis, with a view to the Pension Fund Board considering the report in due course; and
- form a cross party member group to consider what, if any, aspects of the “We Mean Business” coalition Council could sign up to, with a view to bringing a recommendation back to Full Council in a year.
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