York pension fund invests $182.18mln in green technology

pension fund

The investment represents about three per cent of the North Yorkshire Pension Fund’s $6.51 billion of investments

The pension fund for council workers in York and North Yorkshire has invested £140 million ($182.18 million) in green and renewable technology.

The North Yorkshire Pension Fund manages the pension for council workers in both York and North Yorkshire, as well as for community groups and some private companies. It has about 100,000 members in total.

It has just invested £140 million ($182.18 million) of its members cash in a new, green ‘Climate Opportunities Fund’, which holds investments in green and renewable technologies and resources.

The investment represents about three per cent of the North Yorkshire Pension Fund’s £5 billion ($6.51 billion) of investments.

That is a comparatively small amount – but at least it is a start, said York councillor and pension fund committee member Christian Vassie.

Committee members had actually wanted to invest more in the new, green fund – up to £180 million ($234.23 million) – but were limited because the fund was oversubscribed, said Cllr Vassie, who is chair of York’s climate change committee. But that shows there is real appetite for investment in this type of fund, he said.

Cllr Vassie said that investing in the fund made sense, from both an environmental point of view, and in terms of guaranteeing a good return for pension holders.

Some people imagine that you either make money or tackle climate change, he said. Nothing could be further from the truth.

He said: The returns from investing in a sustainable low-carbon future are higher than those from investing in fossil fuels. The blip in fossil fuel prices that we are currently seeing comes in the context of a long period of losses and, as we switch to electric vehicles and retrofitting homes to make them energy efficient, the demand for fossil fuels will drop.

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