We are teachers calling on the British Columbia Teachers Federation (BCTF) Pension plan to immediately divest from holdings in fossil fuels.

Attention working and retired public sector workers in British Columbia!

On May 25th, join working and retired teachers, healthcare workers, college and university staff and faculty, and municipal and provincial government employees from across BC to learn how you can take action on the #climatecrisis while protecting your pension savings. This is a free online workshop for members of B.C. public pension funds managed by the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI), which manages nearly $200 billion on behalf of millions of working and retired British Columbians.

This workshop will:

  • Inform you about the urgency of the climate crisis;
  • Explain why BCI’s investment decisions matter for the climate crisis;
  • Describe how your retirement savings are exposed to the financial risks of climate change;
  • Provide a summary of the progress BCI is making on managing these risks, and an overview of its risky investments in #fossilfuels and other high-carbon companies and infrastructure;
  • Give you information about how to engage with your pension fund on climate.

“Just as tackling the climate emergency requires spending what it takes to win, we must also stop spending on the things that spell ruin for our kids and grandkids, nieces and nephews. That means governments need to stop subsidizing fossil fuels. And, for your pension funds, it means divesting your holdings from fossil fuel companies. These fossil fuel holdings are at risk at two levels. 

First, they are at legal risk, because just as occurred with tobacco, we are seeing more and more court cases against fossil fuel companies, seeking to hold them legally accountable for their role in climate denial and delay and destruction. And second, they are at financial risk, because as the world now acts to confront the crisis, these companies, their reserves and their hard assets will become stranded, and you don’t want to be left holding these hot potatoes. But, in fact, a much deeper intergenerational justice matter is at play. Because by continuing to hold these fossil fuel companies in your pension portfolios, you are effectively betting against your own students and grandkids. If your bet wins, it is only because they lose. You will have staked your pension returns on a future in which they reside in a hellscape. And that’s not why you’re in this.”

  • Seth Klein Team Lead, Climate Emergency Unit, and author of A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency

The BCTF identifies as a social justice union yet continues irresponsible investing practices. Using the company, BC Investment Corp, the BCTF continues investment in the fossil fuel industry which science and the @ipcc has declared is one of the biggest devastating contributors to climate change and the current ecological collapse of earth’s life-giving ecosystems.

An essential social movement tool in this climate emergency is fossil fuel divestment campaigns.

“First, it buys us time, siphoning the “money pipeline” of investment for oil and gas extraction while we wait for our politics to align with the emergency. And second, it directly confronts the fossil fuel companies, publically stigmatizing them and making them hurt where it counts – their financial returns”

  • Seth Klein – A Good War, Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency

Change must happen immediately and divestment from fossil fuels in order to invest in sustainable, earth centered organizations and energy is the way to sustain a livable planet for all life.

For our children and all future generations.