A REVIEW of the Dorset Pension Fund will look at alternative ‘green’ investments in the coming weeks.

Calls have been made by several groups for the fund, which holds the pensions of thousands of public sector workers across Dorset, to dis-invest from areas such as petro-chemicals to help protect the planet.

Chairman of the pension fund committee Cllr Andy Canning, in a statement to this week’s cabinet said: “We are conscious that both Dorset Council and BCP have declared a climate emergency and I can assure you that the Pension Fund Committee will take this fully into account when it makes investment decisions.”

He said that the fund reviews its investment strategy every three years based on an independent actuarial analysis followed by an independent evaluation of investment prospects leading to recommendations concerning the fund’s investment strategy.

“We will receive these recommendations in the next few weeks and they will be discussed and agreed at our next meeting on September 10th,” he said.

Cllr Canning’s statement said that the panel had specifically requested the independent evaluation to include an assessment of the merits of a ‘decarbonisation strategy’ cmpared to a ‘fossil fuel free strategy’.

The statement, read by vice chairman of the panel, Cllr Tony Ferrari said: “To further complicate matters we are members of the Brunel Investment Partnership and are moving speedily to transfer all of our investments into their pooled funds.”

The statement said the Brunel Partnership is committed to leading the way on sustainable investments, having its mainstream funds in line with the targets set in the Paris Climate Accord and, as a minimum, is planning to reduce their carbon footprint by 7% a year.

It was also setting up a series of sustainable funds with a low carbon footprint, one of which is claimed to have a carbon footprint of around 50% compared to a world index of funds.

Questioner Michael Tunbridge said that as a long-standing member of the Dorset Pension Fund he was disappointed to find no commitment or statement of intent on fossil fuel divestment.

“Maintaining investments in fossil fuel and carbon intensive industries is incompatible with the declaration of a climate emergency,” he said.