Quakers welcome Supreme Court appeal ruling on ethical investments
Quakers in Britain today welcome the UK Supreme Court's ruling affirming the right of local authorities to make ethical choices in their pension investments.
The ruling follows the publication in 2016 of new guidance by the government banning local authorities in England and Wales from divesting from companies profiting from the UK defence industry, fossil fuel extraction, or military occupation.
We're pleased the Supreme Court has put an end to these efforts by the government to silence the ethical investment movement.- Oliver Robertson for Quakers in Britain
Quakers in Britain publicly voiced concerns at the time and entered written submissions in support of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign's legal case against the government's guidance.
Oliver Robertson, Head of Witness and Worship for Quakers in Britain, says,
"We have been voicing our concerns since the publication of this guidance. We're delighted and relieved to see the large number of fast-growing campaigns in the UK for ethical investment, including our own, can continue.
"We're pleased the Supreme Court has put an end to these efforts by the government to silence the ethical investment movement. We look forward to moving ahead with our many partners across the country and around the world on campaigns to end a range of unethical trades."
The campaign against government's attempts to ban ethical investment policies continues. In December 2019 the government announced that it would proceed with plans to bring forward new legislation to criminalise local authority policies to boycott, sanction or divest from foreign countries and those who trade with them.
Oliver Robertson says,
"Quakers in Britain will look closely at any proposals laid before parliament. We will continue to work with others to challenge any attempts to clamp down on the democratic right of organisations and individuals to use nonviolent tools such as ethical investment to realise positive change in our world."