Stop Funding the End of the World: A guide to nuclear weapons divestment in Scotland

Congratulations to our colleagues in Scotland with the successful publication of the report: Stop Funding the End of World: A guide to nuclear weapons divestment in Scotland.

First published in 2018, the report details the nuclear weapons investments of Scottish banks, Scottish local authority pension funds, Scottish universities and the Scottish Parliamentary Pension Scheme, and features a step-by-step guide for people who want to get involved in the divestment campaign.

Key findings include:

  • RBS Group, Lloyds Banking Group and Standard Life Aberdeen together invested £5.7 billion in major nuclear weapons between 2017 and 2019.
  • Scotland’s largest public pension scheme, the Scottish Local Government Pension Scheme, holds shares worth over £321 million in 18 nuclear weapons companies.

A growing list of Scottish local authorities are challenging these investments.  In May 2019, Renfrewshire Council became the first local authority in the UK to pass a resolution calling on its pension fund (Strathclyde) to divest from nuclear weapons producers.  Since then, West Dunbartonshire Council and Midlothian Council have passed similar resolutions. 

Welcoming the report, Renfrewshire Councillor and Vice Convenor of Nuclear Free Local Authorities Scotland Audrey Doig said: “Local councils, Scottish Parliament and Government departments have to now look at the moral standing of their pension funds supporting the companies that produce nuclear weapons. In the past other campaigns have been successful in stopping invest in such items like real fur clothing and smoking. We need to give the support to this campaign now and we will make the future for our children a much safer and cleaner environment in Scotland!”

 

Edinburgh Councillor Steve Burgess said: “As a councillor and a member of Lothian Pension Fund, I find it deeply troubling that Scottish local authority pension funds have over 320 million invested in nuclear weapons companies. Lothian Pension Fund alone has investments in four companies with contracts related to Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons programme. Two are involved in the development of new nuclear weapons and therefore deeply embroiled in a new nuclear arms race which endangers us all.

If we’re opposed to nuclear weapons it’s important that we stop backing the companies that make them”, Councillor Burgess added. “I strongly support Don’t Bank on the Bomb’s call for Scottish banks, pension funds and public bodies to divest from nuclear weapons.”

The report was published by a network of organisations including Scottish CND, Medact Scotland and Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre.

To download a pdf of the full version, click here.
Network members:

Guy JohnsonMedact
Brian LarkinEdinburgh Peace and Justice Centre
Michael OrgelMedact
Linda PearsonEdinburgh CND
Arthur WestScottish CND

written by

Susi Snyder coordinates the research, publication and campaigning activities surrounding the Don’t Bank on the Bomb report. 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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