Our prominent and successful fringe event at the Liberal Democrats Autumn Conference in Bournemouth this September was met with great support.
We were the only fringe to put fossil fuel divestment on the agenda and with a room packed of full keen Lib Dem members and councillors, we were excited to be there.
It was clear that the traction we have been building with lib dem members and councillors is picking up pace. There was no doubt in the room that we face a fossil free future; coal power stations are closing and solar and wind will power much of our lives. There was no doubt from our speakers that in the grid needs to be repurposed for the 21st century.
With our local government pension funds heavily invested in fossil fuels, like fracking, tar sands and coal – these investments will soon become stranded assets. There was clear collective understanding of the need to divest and for Liberal Democrats to be a powerful voice in this fight against climate change. Divesting our pension funds will free up capital to reinvest into renewable energy, community energy and building the just transition.
The speakers and audience were in agreement that we do not have to wait for central government to drag their feet on climate action, we can start taking action locally now.
Our speakers included; Chris Huhne, former Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change; Cllr Roger Harmer, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, Birmingham City Council; and Mika Minio-Paluello, our Energy Economist.