Hand-embroidered ties deliver climate message to councillors

Hand-embroidered ties were delivered to the five members of the East Sussex Pension Committee (ESPC) earlier this week alongside an invitation for them to stop funding climate change and join the fossil fuel divestment ‘club’.

The ties, which have been embroidered by members of the Climate Craftivists, each bear the Divest East Sussex logo and the councillor’s initials.

East Sussex County Council (ESCC) currently invests £145 million of the East Sussex Pension Fund in oil and gas companies that campaigners say are driving our current climate crisis – companies like Exxon, Shell and BP.

The five members of the ESPC; Simon Elford (Cons, Bexhill), Nigel Enever (Cons, Pevensey), Gerard Fox (Cons, Hailsham), David Tutt (Lib Dem, Eastbourne) and Trevor Webb (Labour, Hastings) are the ultimate decision-makers regarding these investments.

Oil and gas companies like BP and Exxon are projected to spend $4.9 trillion over the next decade developing new oil and gas fields and according to the pressure group Divest East Sussex none of that activity is compatible with capping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Over 1,100 institutions around the world – including several UK pension funds – have already made some form of commitment to move their money out of fossil fuels but ESCC recently rejected a motion calling on it to stop funding climate change.

Each tie took three hours to embroider and the styles were chosen based on those featured in an official Pension Committee photo.

Lynne Salvage from Climate Craftivists said: “We have delivered these bespoke, unique hand-embroidered ties to Councillors Fox, Tutt, Webb, Elford and Enever as part of an invitation to them to set a date for divesting the East Sussex Pension Fund from the fossil fuel investments that are threatening the survival of my daughter and her children. We hope that they will be proud to wear them when they meet to become members of the global Divestment ‘club’.”

Gabriel Carlyle from Divest East Sussex said: “The County Council has repeatedly claimed that it isn’t possible for them to stop investing in the giant oil and gas companies that are driving the climate crisis. But the 1,100 institutions around the world – including several UK pension funds – who are already doing so give the lie to this claim. Investments companies like Shell and BP are a disaster for the planet and bad for local pension fund members. It’s time to divest the East Sussex Pension Fund from fossil fuels.”

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