Posted: Fri 27th Jan 2023

Flintshire Council’s Climate Change Committee to probe Clwyd Pension Fund’s fossil fuel investments

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Jan 27th, 2023


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Flintshire County Council’s Climate Change Committee has voted to carry out an inquiry into the Clwyd Pension Fund’s investments in fossil fuel companies.

The pension fund, which covers local government employees of the former Clwyd County Council and the councils that replaced it, has been criticised by environmental groups for using staff members’ pensions to invest in new oil and gas drilling, as well as coal mining.

Last year Deeside.com reported that administrators of the pension scheme are to disinvest its holding in a Russian oil company following Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine. ‌



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According to data published by UK Divest, Clywd Pension Fund had and investment of £1,852,505 in Lukoil, the second largest company in Russia after Gazprom. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Lukoil is a Moscow headquartered oil and gas company and is responsible for around 2% of the world’s oil production. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The Clwyd Pension Fund says it has set an “ambitious” target to end its investments in fossil fuels over the next 22 years.

Jack Sargeant, the Member of the Senedd for Alyn & Deeside, said “This is an important step forward in holding pension funds to account. Local government pensions in Wales have millions of pounds invested in destroying our planet.”

Committee Chair Cllr Alasdair Ibbotson (Labour, Penyffordd) welcomed the vote.

He said “This inquiry will bring out into the open the choices being made for members of the Clwyd Pension Fund on climate issues.”



“There are inevitably trade-offs in managing a large pension fund, but transparency and accountability are crucial.”

Not every member supported reducing investments in fossil fuels, however. Cllr Ian Hodge (Independent, Holywell East) told the committee

“Whereas I have doubts about the legality of us actually looking at this, I actually welcome the fact you want to have an investigation into what you regard as fossil fuels.”

According to his register of members’ interests, Cllr Hodge owns a significant number of shares in BP.

The inquiry will investigate the investments and decision-making of the Clwyd Pension Fund to ensure transparency and accountability.

It will also examine the impact of fossil fuel investments on the retirement plans of local government employees and the potential for decarbonization of the pension fund.

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