Derry pensions will remain in oil and gas

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The manager of hundreds of Derry public servants’ pensions says it won’t yield to a Friends of the Earth (FoE) demand that it divest of shares in oil and gas companies.

The Northern Ireland Local Government Officers’ Superannuation Committee (NILGOSC) has indicated it’s not policy to “disinvest for ethical reasons”.

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.

“NILGOSC has a duty to obtain the best return for the beneficiaries of the pension scheme. But in addition, as a longterm investor, it believes that Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues will affect long-term returns and therefore it is an active responsible investor working with other large schemes across the world on ESG issues and is signatory of the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investment,” the committee stated.

It said its fund managers are asked to consider enviromental issues before investing local pensions.

“NILGOSC has instructed its active fund managers to take account of climate risk in their decision making process provided the primary financial obligation is not compromised. When appointing a fund manager NILGOSC ensures that they have the necessary expertise in assessing climate risk,” it said..