Westside Article – December 2015

Fossil Fuel Divestment

“The economic climate has suited ethical funds over the last year, carefully researched and low investment in China due to human rights issues, low exposure to commodities especially mining stocks, and very little exposure to fossil fuel investment have led to ethical funds performing well” says Graham Walton, Ethical Investment Specialist and member of the Ethical Investment Association.

One recent theme that has captured global attention has been the fossil fuel divestment campaign. Universities, companies, councils and charities have all been under pressure to move pension investments away from these carbon intensive industries.

The issues – a consensus of scientific opinion agrees that the world is warming and this is largely due to human activity, with global planetary temperatures greater than they have been for 11,000 years. The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has identified a Carbon Budget, above which it would be difficult to avoid the worst effects of climate change. This has been defined as remaining within 2 degrees of preindustrial temperatures. By 2011 scientists estimate that the world had already burnt 65% of this allowable budget.

Here at Hamnett Wealth Management we have portfolios of ethical funds to suit different levels of risk. These portfolios mix ten different ethical funds. Four of the funds are fossil fuel free – Jupiter Ecology, WHEB Sustainability, Quilter Cheviot Climate Asset Fund, and Pictet Environmental Megatrends. The other six have no exposure to oil, coal, and non-conventional gas (fracking). They do however have some exposure to conventional natural gas. I would be more than happy to share these funds and mixes of funds with you, just call me on 0114 235 3500. These portfolios can be used for ISA’s, pensions, bonds, trusts etc. Which one is best for you depends on your situation.

I would be happy to speak with anyone who is considering ethical investments. I can highlight the differences between the more mainstream investment funds, and ethical or sustainable practices. Fossil Fuel Divestment is one theme, others include water scarcity, clean energy production, storage of energy, aging and growing populations, sustainable living, green transport, waste management.