At last week’s Pension Power event, we had a very interesting discussion about how ordinary citizens can start to tackle the behemoth of the financial system, by making choices that avoid destructive climate consequences.

Share Action‘s Sophia McNab presented some interesting data and ideas.  Sophia says:

“To kick-off your pension fund activism, you can email your pension fund about your climate concerns. Our e-action makes it really simple; you can send off our template email or edit it to include your own questions:  Beyond that, ShareAction is also coordinating meetings between pension funds and their customers – here is a video of the customers who met with Scottish Widows last week.”

We were happy to have ethical investment advisor Barchester Green‘s John Ditchfield in the audience who explained some of the problems of changing an industry where so much is invested in the climate busting status quo.  He also forwarded this Guardian article about the “winners and sinners” in ethical investing. We dabbled briefly with SIPPS (self invested personal pensions) such as this one, where you chose the investments. It requires a bit of financial nous, but it does give you control.

We hope to have more ethical investment events in 2015 and you don’t have to have a pension or indeed any money to be interested!

This stuff affects us all but most of us tend to bury our heads in the sand don’t we?

Almost everyone deals with a bank or building society for loans, current accounts or savings. How ethical is yours? Fancy funding the arms trade, big pharma, destructive mining or human rights abuse?  Most of the major banks do, however tacitly. And what about Wandsworth Council, where do they invest their millions of reserves?  Somewhere not very clever from an ethical standpoint I’d wager, but prepared to be proved wrong WBC!