Derry pensions get rainforest pledge

The Amazon rainforest.
The Amazon rainforest.

A body that manages the pensions of thousands of Derry workers has called up urgent action on the deforestation of the Amazon.

The NI Local Government Officers’ Superannuation Committee has cosigned a UN Principles for Responsible Investment statement calling for firms to redouble their efforts to eliminate deforestation within their operations.

NILGOSC handles millions of pounds worth of pension contributions on behalf of Education Authority, NIHE, Magee, City of Derry Airport, NWRC and Ulsterbus workers, among others.

In the wake of concerns over Amazon deforestation and reports of a big year-on-year increase in forest fires in Brazil, in particular, NILGOSC has joined 230 investors with US $16.2 trillion in assets under management in signing the statement.

They state: “Deforestation in the region could potentially bring the entire ecosystem dangerously near to a tipping point, after which the rainforest will not be able to maintain itself, gradually turning into a more Savannah-like system which is much dryer, less biodiverse, and stores significantly less carbon. This would severely disrupt the agricultural sector and other economic activities, by reducing rainfall and increasing temperatures in the longer-term.

“We are concerned about the financial impact deforestation may have on investee companies, by potentially increasing reputational, operational and regulatory risks. Considering increasing deforestation rates and recent fires in the Amazon, we are concerned that companies exposed to potential deforestation in their Brazilian operations and supply chains will face increasing difficulty accessing international markets.”