Divestment lobby ‘over-simplifying’ sale of fossil fuel assets, argues union

first_imgPrentis cautioned against a wholesale divestment before other assets were available.“Divesting of carbon assets without having found adequate alternative renewable investment returns would create huge economic uncertainty.”He argued that low-carbon investment opportunities in the UK remained limited and were often not of sufficient scale, with investors incurring “high fees and huge transaction costs”.Prentis also evoked cost as a concern when arguing against divestment, insisting that any moves would take several years and see the affected LGPS incur “considerable” costs.The Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global was ordered in May to sell its stake in companies that derived over 30% of their revenue from coal.It came weeks after the sovereign wealth fund said it had already halved its exposure to thermal coal, and was the result of a vote by Norway’s parliament.However, divestment has previously proven difficult for the UK’s LGPS, consisting of 101 schemes managed by local authorities, as legal advice instructed them they could only divest in cases where it did not risk “material financial detriment” to the schemes.The Lothian Pension Fund in July ruled out divestment, citing both cost concerns and uncertainty on how fossil fuel companies should be defined. Those calling for pension funds to divest their fossil fuel holdings do not understand the “huge task” facing the schemes in divesting carbon-intensive companies, the head of one of the UK’s largest unions has argued.Unison said efforts by campaign groups urging asset owners to divest fossil fuel holdings were “admirable”, but underestimated the cost and complexity of selling the stakes.Dave Prentis, the union’s general secretary, said: “We all want to live in a greener, cleaner world, but pulling local government pensions fund investments from firms with big carbon footprints, and putting them into environmentally-friendly investments instead, is no mean feat.”His comments came in response to NGOs including Friends of the Earth detailing the fossil fuel investments of local government pension schemes (LGPS) to coincide with a report that found over 400 asset owners worth $2.6trn (€2.3trn), ranging from foundations and pension schemes to sovereign wealth funds, had pledged to divest their holdings.last_img read more

It’s an emotional time for Nets’ Wayne Ellington

first_imgNEW YORK >> His mind has wandered in recent days. But Nets guard Wayne Ellington has stayed restless because of something more serious than anything he experienced on the court.The Lakers (0-4) will visit the Brooklyn Nets (0-5) on Friday at Barclays Center where Ellington, who is coming off his lone season with the purple and gold, hopes to collect his first victory of this season. Ellington described his season as “up and down” after losing his starting spot at the shooting guard position.Amid that backdrop, Ellington is three days away from the one-year anniversary of a haunting moment. On Nov. 9, 2014, Ellington’s father, Wayne Sr. was murdered at the age of 57 in downtown Philadelphia. “It’s been crazy. I’ve been a little bit more emotional than I usually am,” Ellington said in a phone interview with the Los Angeles News Group. “A lot of thoughts and prayers have been going up. I try to stay focused on basketball and remember that’s what he would want me to do.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Ellington also remains grateful for inspiring others. In September, Ellington spoke at a peace rally in Philadelphia and helped organize a basketball tournament in Chicago, which raised funds to reduce gang violence. He also in the beginning stages of launching a foundation for the same cause. “There’s too many incidents where lives are lost because of violence,” Ellington said. “To be in the position I’m in, I feel like I’m someone a lot of younger people would look up to and listen to. I want to do whatever I can to help.”center_img Ellington plans to practice that day. But he will likely visit his grandmother, uncles, aunts and cousins in his Philadelphia hometown afterward. Although Ellington’s mother and sisters live in North Carolina, the 27-year-old Ellington said his proximity to Philadelphia “played a huge role” in signing with the Nets this offseason to a two-year, $3 million deal with a player option for his second season. Another huge role entailed the Lakers passing on him. They liked Ellington after averaging 10 points on 41.2 percent shooting in 65 games, including 36 starts. But the Lakers put higher priority on marquee free agents. They also upgraded their backcourt by drafting D’Angelo Russell second overall and signing Lou Williams to a three-year, $21 million deal.Ellington admitted that will “give me a little chip” entering Friday’s game against the Lakers. But he added “there’s no hard feelings” and that he has “great respect” for Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and coach Byron Scott. The Lakers granted Ellington an indefinite leave of absence that eventually lasted 11 days following his father’s death. Several Lakers staff members and teammates helped Ellington cope with his loss. “The Lakers will always have a spot with me in my heart because of what I went through,” said Ellington, who averaged 3.6 points on 31.8 percent shooting in 12.8 minutes through five games. “Everybody treated me like family. I’m forever grateful for that.” last_img read more