DORSET County Pension Fund has agreed to switch some of its investments into a low carbon fund.

Twenty per cent of the fund's equity investments will go into a new Low Carbon Global Sustainable Fund which aims to cut the carbon footprint of investors by two-thirds.

The move comes after the lobbying of fund members by activists keen to totally disinvest from fossil fuels over more than a year.

The meeting had been advised to follow what was described as a decarbonisation stance, rather than disinvesting from fossil fuel investments altogether.

Fund committee chair, Dorchester councillor Andy Canning, describes the switch as 'a major step forward' to help combat the climate crisis.

"We agreed to switch 20 per cent of our equity investments into a new Low Carbon Global Sustainable Fund that is aiming to cut investors carbon footprint by two-thirds.

"We are ensuring that our other actively managed equity portfolios are set a target of cutting their carbon footprint by seven per cent a year for at least the next three years. Thirdly, we have instructed our investment manager to compile a list of any remaining investments that we hold in the coal extraction industry with a view to seeing how we might replace them with more environmentally responsible investments.

"These changes are specifically designed to help us significantly reduce our carbon footprint while maintaining the investment returns that are required to fund the payment of our pensioners.

"As Chair of the Dorset County Pension Fund I have spent a lot of time working on this over the last few months and am very pleased by what we have achieved."