Home > Uncategorized > Local authorities, pensions and the FCTC

Local authorities, pensions and the FCTC

The UK is a signatory to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, as I have mentioned many times.  The obligations thus entered into are binding on all parts of UK Government including local government.  This is a fact that many councils are in blissful ignorance about, judging by the absence of any consideration of the implications of the FCTC for their tobacco investments.

So, it is worth taking a moment to just read a few key sections from the Convention, and then reflect on the implications for tobacco investments in the medium to long term.

Article 3 sets out the objective of the Convention

The objective of this Convention and its protocols is to protect present and future
generations from the devastating health, social, environmental and economic consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco
smoke by providing a framework for tobacco control measures to be implemented by the Parties at the national, regional and international levels in order to reduce continually and substantially the prevalence of tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke.
Most of the world’s population is now covered by this convention.
Article 5.2 (b)  states that the Parties will
adopt and implement effective legislative, executive, administrative and/or other

measures and cooperate, as appropriate, with other Parties in developing appropriate
policies for preventing and reducing tobacco consumption,nicotine addiction and
exposure to tobacco smoke.
It ought to be abundantly clear from these commitments that most of the world’s governments are committed to driving down tobacco consumption.  Meanwhile UK local authority pension funds are investing in tobacco companies which have precisely the opposite objective to the commitment given by our Government. It is surely time that this inherent contradiction in public policy is addressed by Parliament, if not by local authorities themselves.




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