Renfrewshire Council resolution on nuclear weapons divestment

Congratulations to Renfrewshire Council for their resolution urging Strathclyde Pension Fund to divest of its substantial investments in companies involved in the construction and development of nuclear weapons.

The resolution was passed last Thursday 9th May and is one of the first such resolutions that specifically calls on Council pension funds to take on board the ethical concerns of possessing investments in companies involved in developing nuclear weapons. It follows on from a December 2018 resolution made by Renfrewshire Council to support the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and the ICAN (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons) Cities Appeal.

Renfrewshire Councillor Audrey Doig said: “I am delighted that Renfrewshire Council has passed a detailed resolution on nuclear weapons divestment following on from our formal support for the Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty, both of which I put forward to the Council. In what is a dangerous and unstable world, it is really important that Councils stand up for doing things differently and encourage multilateral nuclear disarmament and divestment from companies involved in developing the ultimate weapon of mass destruction. By such actions we help to solve the ‘nuclear emergency’. The NFLA Scotland seminar also showed how seriously our members take the parallel ‘climate emergency’ and I urge councillors and council officers to read our highly informative report on the next steps for radical action to reduce carbon emissions over the next couple of decades. In both areas of policy, time is not on our side, so it is important that local government advocates for this progressive way forward in delivering a low carbon and ultimately safer world.”

The Renfrewshire Council resolution passed on the 9th May is as follows:

  • Renfrewshire Council is a member of NFLA and the Mayors for Peace, the global international body of Councils working for over 3 decades to promote multilateral nuclear disarmament and a more peaceful world. The Council has already passed a resolution on the 13th December 2018 calling on the UK government to cancel Trident replacement plans and support the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).
  • Strathclyde Pension Fund manages the pension contributions of Renfrewshire Council employees. Strathclyde Pension Fund is known to hold shares in companies that are involved in the production or maintenance of nuclear weapons or their delivery systems, including some that undertake work on the UK’s nuclear weapons programme.
  • Any investments in nuclear weapons producers are at odds with the Council’s support for the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) and the Council’s opposition to Trident renewal. Such investments also present a growing risk to Strathclyde Pension  Fund. The TPNW has increased the stigma associated with nuclear weapons and companies which continue to produce nuclear weapons after the treaty enters into force will face damage to their reputation which could affect their value.

Council calls on Strathclyde Pension Fund to:

  1. Work towards eliminating current and future financial exposure to companies that are involved in the production or maintenance of nuclear weapons and their delivery systems, giving due regard to fiduciary duty.
  2. Council asks the Chief Executive to write to the convenor of Strathclyde Pension Fund’s pension committee to urge them to take full consideration of this resolution.

 

For more information, please contact Nuclear Free Local Authorities,

written by

Susi Snyder is the Nuclear Disarmament Programme Manager for Pax in the Netherlands. Mrs. Snyder has coordinated the research, publication and campaigning activities surrounding the annually updated Don’t Bank on the Bomb report since 2013. She has published numerous reports and articles, including Dealing with a ban (2015); The Rotterdam Blast: The immediate humanitarian consequences of a 12 kiloton nuclear explosion (2014); and Withdrawal Issues: What NATO countries say about the future of tactical nuclear weapons in Europe (2011). She is an International Steering Group member of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, and a 2016 Nuclear Free Future Award Laureate. Previously, Mrs. Snyder served as the Secretary General of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom at their Geneva secretariat.

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