Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund, Darlington, England, reduced its exposure to equity investments related to fossil fuels by at least £10.2 million ($13.3 million) in the 12 months ended March 31, 2019, according to the pension fund's annual report.
In response to a call from a cross-party group of 360 members of Parliament in the U.K., who asked in May 2019 that trustees of the pension fund divest investments related to fossil fuels, trustees reduced investments in BP and Royal Dutch Shell.
The £733 million pension fund under a new responsible investment policy held shares worth £4.4 million in BP as of March 31, 2019, down from £11.7 million at the end of March 2018 as well as stocks worth £8 million in Royal Dutch Shell, down from £10.9 million at the end of March 2018.
Under the new responsible investment policy, the pension fund also started to invest in wind and solar farms globally. The pension fund committed 5% of its assets to a global renewable infrastructure strategy managed by BlackRock.
"Investing in clean energy is clearly the right thing to do, financially and for the future of our planet, so I'm glad the parliamentary pension fund is doing this. But it has to also stop investing in Shell and BP," said Caroline Lucas, Green Party member and MP for Brighton Pavilion, who championed the cross-party initiative, in a news release Tuesday.
"Parliament declared a climate emergency nearly a year ago, and the parliamentary pension fund needs to fall into line with this by ending the support for fossil fuels. These investments cannot be justified on ethical, environmental or financial grounds, and they undermine MPs' credibility in addressing the climate emergency. They have to stop," Ms. Lucas added.
The pension fund's assets increased 4.8% in the 12 months ended March 31, 2019, from £699 million as of March 31, 2018.
The pension fund returned 7.4% in the 12 months ended March 31, 2019.
The pension fund's asset allocation as of March 31, 2019, was 65% global equities, 10.6% U.K. bonds, 10.2% property, 9% European loans, 4.7% illiquid credit stood and 0.5% cash.