Divest Tyne & Wear is a non-political campaign working hard to lift the lid on the way pension fund investments are harming the interests of members and local residents through seeking to invest huge sums in fossil fuels until 2050. Our key goal is to achieve change in the investment strategy of the Tyne & Wear Pension Fund - one of the biggest local authority pension funds - which has resulted in £238m being invested in oil, gas and coal. A switch of that investment to green jobs and sustainable services will achieve vital benefits for two main groups:190,000 members of the scheme, and more than 1 million council taxpayers in 6 local authority areas in the scheme (who collectively contribute almost £200m pa to the fund). Overall, achieving our goal will mean funds that originally come from our own pockets will be invested in our futures, rather than undermining ALL our futures by fuelling fossil fuel emissions and climate breakdown.
The activities of the campaign include:
* Support for local residents in each of the 6 local authorities in the scheme, providing information on request about their own council's involvement, the structure of the T&WPF, how they can attend its meetings or find out the name of their own area's representative and the routes they can use to seek information.
* Similar support for people who use the 200+ organisations (other than the 6 councils) who also use the scheme. These include theatres, schools, universities, services such as the Fire & Rescue Services, charities and agencies.
* Outreach events (such as meetings, informal gatherings, stalls at festivals, rallies, speakers for conferences) to help inform people about the ways their pension contributions and local taxes are being spent.
* Regular news services - a Newsletter, social media, a website - to share new reports, consultations, speeches, reading recommendations and supporter ideas, plus a reading group and a forum to answer questions.