THE pension funds of sector workers in Oxfordshire will become more environmentally friendly in coming years.

The Oxfordshire Local Government Pension Fund approved its first Climate Change Policy at a recent virtual meeting having received input from the campaign group Fossil Free Oxfordshire.

The Pension Fund has membership made up of staff and former staff members from Oxfordshire County Council, the county’s five district councils and many other local organisations.

Experts from across the investment and academic sectors joined Fossil Free Oxfordshire in working with the members of the committee to develop the new direction.

Two key changes were agreed:

•To switch another six per cent of assets into a new Sustainable Equities Fund being developed by Brunel, the company owned by 10 Local Government Pension Funds to manage investments on their behalf.

• The a target to reduce carbon emissions within the portfolio by 7.6 per cent per year in line with the UN Environmental Programmes findings of the global requirements to contain temperature rises to 1.5C.

Chairman of the committee, Oxfordshire county councillor Kevin Bulmer, said: “We are grateful for all the input and advice we’ve had from campaigners and experts. Everybody recognises that there is still much work still to be done, and many challenges still to be faced.

“It’s important to me that Oxfordshire makes a real contribution to the climate debate and takes strong effective action, not just more hot air. I believe the action taken here achieves that and I look forward to building on the hard work to date.”