Are we funding climate chaos?
How would you feel if you found out that the money invested in your pension, there to secure your future, was being used to damage our future?
Because the world is near its peak in oil production, energy providers are looking elsewhere to fuel our carbon-addicted culture. As the oil price rises, it becomes tempting to mine the unconventional oil reserves known as tar sands. Tar sands make up the world's second largest oil reserves (173 billion barrels). The greenhouse gas emissions from converting tar sands into fuel is at least three times higher than for conventional oil. Their presence should be regarded as a source of temptation - like a temptation in the desert. For climate change to be controlled, temptation needs to be resisted and tar sands must remain in the ground.
BP and Shell will be discussing tar sands at their shareholder meetings this spring. Even if you don't have shares in these companies directly, your pension provider will almost certainly have shareholdings in companies who are involved in tar sands, and it is your right to express your concerns to them. In the past corporate behaviour has been changed by people writing to their pension funds. The more people who speak out, the more likely it is that action will be taken. You could be the person who tips the scales.
Go to http://www.fairpensions.org.uk/tarsands and ask your pension scheme to challenge Shell and BP about tar sands, or write to your pension provider, asking them to disinvest in this damaging and risky activity.
Ruth Jarman and Barbara Echl in