Help kick fossil fuels out of South Yorkshire’s £9bn pension scheme

This is a call-out to any South Yorkshire residents who would like to take part in a quick email action – and can do it before September 30th. It’s particularly good if you are a South Yorkshire Pension Fund member (for example, if you work for any of Sheffield, Doncaster, Barnsley or Rotherham Councils or are employed by a school but not as a teacher).

At a board meeting of the Pension Authority on Wednesday September 30th, they will be discussing their revised Climate Policy. Although a previous policy talks about ‘tilting in favour of low-carbon assets’, it still has no targets or time-frame for decarbonising the pension fund. Without these we think the policy is ineffective and lacks accountability. It also flies in the face of all the regions authorities having declared a climate emergency.

If you have some time, writing to a member of the SYPA’s Board could tip the balance and ensure that SYPA and its investment decisions become part of the solution to our climate emergency, rather than remaining part of the problem.

We’ve put together a brief email that you are welcome to use as a template (see below). Of course, it would be great if you felt you wanted to use your own words. And right at the bottom there is a list of SYPA Board members and their email addresses. They are all local authority councillors and sit on the Board as representatives of the local authority not their ward. You could also usefully copy your emails to George Graham (ggraham AT sypa.org.uk, replacing AT with @) , the Director of the Pension Authority, so he can also see the strength of feeling about this issue.

Finally, if you do send an email could you let us know, by emailing gofossilfree AT sheffieldclimatealliance.net. And the same if you get a reply.

With love and hope – and many thanks for any help!

Template email

Dear Councillor XXXXX,

I am contacting you regarding your role on the South Yorkshire Pension Authority (SYPA). I am a resident of Barnsley/Doncaster/Rotherham/ Sheffield and a member of the Pension Fund.

Given the upcoming SYPA board meeting to discuss the Climate Change Policy I urge you to:

  • to withhold your approval of the revised Climate Change Policy if it has no meaningful and challenging targets and no time-frame to decarbonise the fund and
  • push for those targets to be ambitious – we are running out of time to avert the climate crisis

All four of the South Yorkshire local authorities and the Combined Mayoral Authority have declared a climate emergency, with the aim of being carbon zero between 2030 and 2040. By continuing to invest in fossil fuels, SYPA is perpetuating the present unsustainable system but by pressing for targets you could be a part of building a better future. 

Best wishes,


SYPA Board members