UK pension fund investments linked to unethical land grabs
UK pension funds and asset management companies could potentially have £37bn invested in ‘land grabs’ worldwide, according to a new report published by Friends of the Earth.
The report, What’s your pension funding? How UK Institutional Investors finance the global land grab, is the first time UK pension funds and asset management companies have been linked directly – via their investments – to global firms either known or alleged to be involved in cases of land grabbing from communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Household names including British Airways Pension Fund, Legal & General, Scottish Widows Investment Partnership and Aviva Investors have been identified in the report.
Land grabbing is when wealthy businesses purchase large pieces of cheap ‘unused’ land, often to grow crops for fuel and for other industries, and infringe the rights of the affected people and communities. This sometimes results in families being forcibly kicked off the land they are using to grow food and not being given compensation.
Friends of the Earth Land Grabs Campaigner Samuel Lowe said: “UK pension funds should not be investing our money in any company that puts potential profits above the livelihoods of people who live in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
“Our future retirement funds are often being secured at the expense of the poor and powerless through widespread land grabbing – in some cases our pensions are actually under threat of being wiped-out due to the risky nature of large-scale land acquisition deals.
“There needs to be stringent international laws to rule out all of the impacts associated with land grabbing – UK investors must stop funding companies linked to this scandal.”
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