We experience more droughts and floods than our grandmothers did when they were our age, and we cough on the air we breathe. What many of us don’t know is that it is our own hard-earned savings that are funding the coal plants that are polluting Mzansi and contributing to climate change.
But we can change this. Already, people around the world are forcing pension funds to divest from fossil fuels like coal, gas and oil, and reinvest in renewable energy like solar panels.
South Africans are threatened by climate change, by the health and environmental impacts of fossil fuels – coal, gas and oil – and by the role of parts of the fossil fuel industry in state capture and in holding back wind and solar energy development. To build a just, sustainable, and healthy future for all South Africans, we need ethical savings and investments in our economy that support long-term social development and a healthy environment.
As individual savers and as members of communities holding joint investments (including companies, universities, religious bodies, stokvels, municipalities, and NGOs), we pledge our support to the global movement to divest from fossil-fuel assets to help avoid catastrophic climate change. We are ready to divest. Read more about this issue at Fossil Free SA.
We want our savings to support a swift, fair, South African and global transition to a socially just, cleaner energy economy and a climate that is safe for ourselves, for vulnerable communities, and future generations; and that takes care of workers in the fossil fuel industry. We do not want our money invested in destructive and increasingly stranded fossil-fuel assets while the rest of the world moves to invest in new energy technology.
Dear CEOs of Allan Gray, Coronation, Investec, Old Mutual, Stanlib and the Government Employees Pension Fund,
We call on you – as South Africa’s top asset managers – to build decarbonised, accessible unit trusts and other investment vehicles for the public, and for the Public Investment Corporation to invest the assets of the Government Employees Pension Fund only in ways that support the future world in which beneficiaries are supposed to enjoy their retirements.
We also call on all the members of the South African financial services industry – financial advisers, pension and provident fund trustees, asset managers, investment consultants, fiduciaries and custodians – to support this transition, to create ethical and responsible investment opportunities, and adopt the rapidly developing new global standards for climate- and carbon-related financial risk disclosure.
We call on the investment and banking community to cease all new funding in the fossil fuel sector, to publicly embrace robust regulation of existing coal mines and coal-fired power stations, to engage government in support of renewable energy development, and to work towards a complete transition away from fossil fuels by 2050 in accordance with widely recognised scientific imperatives.
- Read more and sign petition at Amandla.