Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Kent: Fossil Fools - update

Update 16/12/15:

* KCC were claiming they follow UN investment principles which is cobblers given they're investing in tobacco and oil etc. UNPRI the investment authority confirm today KCC aren't signatories to the principles. Complete cobblers by KCC to pretend investing in tobacco is valid and somehow approved by the UN. Outrageous.

* UN announce today there will be a clear and open UN Secretary General election process for 2016 - although they don't say exactly what. The days of closed door appointnments, Buggins Turn rotas, and even lack of a UN Parliament seem numbered #whennotif

* TDC confirmed the Munday election is open to candidates for TDC and RTC to at least 21st Dec not 5th ie 10 days notice not 4 but still far too little.

* GRIT campaign for elected Mayors in Thanet again which is positive.

* Good news too the Wetherspoons application for the Pav is declared invalid (I've made no bones I want to take it on as a Community Asset and restore it properly - let's hope the Slipways and Pegwell Bay Nemo pipeline are too. Isn't the whole point of Grade 1 listing and SSSI etc to reject such plans automatically?

* RTC aware of gardengrabbing but unclear given they approved one set of plans and TDC did another set afterwards. Farcical. And TDC now facing Court action by the public to demolish and restore it as it braches every part of TDC@s own legal plan. And the rather murky change of 11 flats being approved suddenly jumping to 13. What were TDC and Daniel Gent construction thinking given TDC's own rules on gardengrabbing? And why are TDC dragging their hells on this?

* Pleasurama repainting again farcical: the sooner this BVI corruption project is cancelled the better.


KCC investing in tobacco and oil and gas as the rest of the world doesn't after COP21.

What are Carter and the Toxic 3 and Simmonds doing before their afternoon nap?

The Fossil Free Europe has had astonishing success in just 6 months: summary below form September 2-0105 to COP"! last week - where Copenhagen and Berlin also pledges to divest fossil fuel investments.

A no-brainer and easy: invest in solar instead - quite frankly anything else at all.

As KCC leader I will sell off any remaining British Gas and Tobacco shares immediately.

Indeed hold a review of these lavish public sector pensions and salaries and staffing still not with routine FOI.

Separately the threat of court action on 100Se Rd and Abigail Rayment at TDC Planning suddenly pipes up. But no movement on why the delays in replying and blatant breaches of the TDC local Plan - even 11 flats approved and 13 built. Brown envelopes or muckups?

Fair play to Cllrs Fairbrass and Bambridge and Shonk and others raising this but the civil servants seem to be leading them by the nose to do as they want on the rates. Useless - copies of minutes here tomorrow. We need a Planning clearout.

Same for the awful Slipways building. Looks just like cement profits rather than an need given so many empty buildings.

And £67k spent on lawyers for the Pleasurama corruption rejig from a British Virgin Island company. With the same people. Do they think we're idiots and lawyers can somehow magic that fraud away? Even Lord Grabiner and the Glickgate boys would struggle with that.

Bizarre Dreamland shambles again iwht the opening - by the owners described in the legal documents to sue TDC etc -as chaos.

Good that Wetherspons Pleasurama ruled invalid.

Manston Stone Hill is a mess of unnecessary overbuild jeopardizing the aquifer - and where are the Gloag/Stagecoach fines for missing monitors or shall we pretend that cancer is only for Xmas?

Good that Eileen and her team at RTC gained £50k for Harbour St renewals - long overdue public investment in the towns. £2Bn at KCC and £20M at TDC simply funding staff to say there's no money.

Even the KP cops have at last got their trousers on and started ticketing illegal cars etc.

And excellent news that the Saudi elections have 17 women councilors for the first time - indeed the first elections since 2005, and 1965 before that. Funded by the UK taxpayer via Sangcom fighter jets fraud etc.

Time for Change

In September 2014, 181 institutions representing $50 billion in assets had made a divestment commitment. On September 21, during Climate Week in New York City, 350.org and Divest-Invest announced the number had jumped to 400 institutions representing $2.6 trillion under management, and launched a “Divest for Paris” initiative to garner new commitments ahead of COP21. In the intervening 10 weeks between then and today, more than 100 institutions made new divestment commitments.

Organizers will announce a series of new divestment announcements and endorsements on Wednesday, including:

19 French Cities have endorsed divestment ahead of COP21: 350.org will announce for the first time that they have secured commitments from 19 French cities, including Lille, Bordeaux, Dijon, Saint-Denis, Rannes, Ile-de-France, and others.

The French parliament has endorsed divestment: On November 25th, the French National Assembly adopted a resolution encouraging public investors, companies (especially those in which the states owns shares) and local authorities not to invest in fossil fuels anymore. The resolution is the first step to formalizing the policy as law.

The French Ensemble Foundation will join European Divest-Invest: Jacqueline Délia Brémond, Co-founder and Co-Chair will announce that the foundation will join the European Divest-Invest initiative and divest their holdings from fossil fuels. Since 2004, the foundation has given over $28 million to environmental causes around the world.

Some of the most notable new announcements since September 21, 2015 include:

Uppsala became the largest city in Sweden to endorse fossil fuel divestment.

Münster became the first city in Germany to divest completely from fossil fuels.

Melbourne, the capital of Australia, committed to go fossil free ahead of COP21. In fact, Australia has seen a seven-fold growth in the divestment movement, from two councils divesting in 2014, to 14 divesting as of now. Together, these funds represent AUD $5.5 billion in assets under management.

Oslo, the capital of Norway, announced that it will divest its $9 billion pension fund (€8 billion) from coal, oil and gas companies, becoming the first capital city in the world to ban investments in fossil fuels.

Dutch pension fund PFZW announced it will divest from coal companies and reduce its investments in other fossil fuel companies. The fund has €161 billion of assets under management.

London School of Economics, one of the preeminent economics schools in the world, dropped all its direct and indirect holdings of coal and tar sands, and all direct holdings of fossil fuel companies.

Allianz, Europe’s largest insurance company, divested €630 million of their own capital investment portfolio from coal, and are reinvesting over €4 billion into wind energy over the next 6 months. This is one of the largest funds to make a commitment to divest from fossil fuels. Allianz tied their announcement to COP21, making the moral and economic case for investing in cleaner technologies

APRA AMCOS, the biggest music industry organisation in the southern hemisphere announced that it is beginning the process of divesting from all fossil fuels. APRA AMCOS distributed over $250 million in royalties to its 87,000 songwriter and composer members last year, making it a large cultural force for divestment.

London Science Museum announced plans to dump Shell Oil as a sponsor, amidst controversy and public pressure.

In addition to the London School of Economics 5 Universities from the UK took action: Oxford Brookes University, University of the Arts London, University of Surrey and University of Sheffield divested from all fossil fuel companies; Wolfson College (Oxford university) divested from coal and tar sands. Fund manager CCLA, which manages investments for Birmingham City University, Cranfiled University, Heriot-Watt University, University of Hertfordshire, University of Portsmouth, University of Westminster excluded coal and tar sands from its investments.

The first church in Germany, the Protestant Church in Hesse and Nassau, managing €1.8 billion, committed to drop investments in coal, oil and gas too.

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