By DON'T BANK ON THE BOMB SCOTLAND
Scottish organisations are still investing billions of pounds in companies that make nuclear weapons, despite Scotland’s long-standing opposition to Trident and the adoption of an international treaty that bans nuclear weapons completely.
The level of investment is revealed in a new report by the Don’t Bank on the Bomb Scotland Network. The report shows that the Scottish local authority pension funds, the Scottish Parliamentary Pension Scheme, Scottish financial institutions and two universities together held investments worth £7.2 billion in nuclear weapons producers in 2020.
“People in Scotland were outraged by the UK government’s recent decision to increase the number of warheads in its stockpile by up to 44%,” said Dr Guy Johnson of Medact Scotland. “Many of us will be alarmed to discover that our bank, personal pension fund or local authority fund may be investing in companies that make nuclear weapons and their delivery systems.”
Among the investments that feature in the research is Lothian Pension Fund’s £100 million shareholding in the world’s largest arms company, Lockheed Martin. Lockheed has contracts related to the Trident nuclear missiles deployed by the US and the UK and the company is working on the development of new types of nuclear weapon for the US.
NatWest Group (formerly RBS Group) held investments worth £2 billion in 15 nuclear weapons producers in 2020, including major Trident contractors BAE Systems and Rolls Royce.
“These companies are involved in a dangerous nuclear arms race which could lead to a civilisation-ending nuclear war,” Dr Johnson said. “We’re calling on Scottish banks and public bodies to stop backing this deadly industry, before it’s too late.”
The report comes following entry into force of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons earlier this year. The Treaty bans all nuclear weapons activities, including development, production, testing and use.
Linda Pearson, author of the report, said: “Scottish financial institutions should now treat nuclear weapons producers in the same way that they treat companies that make other types of banned weapon, such as landmines and cluster munitions. That means implementing a policy that comprehensively excludes these companies from investment.”
The report contains guidance for members of the public who wish to engage with banks and public bodies regarding nuclear weapons divestment, as well as the figures on investments.
“This report is a major resource in the struggle to rid Scotland and the world of the scourge of nuclear weapons,” said Arthur West of the Scottish CND Trade Union Network. “It provides a compelling case for the redirection of investment funds away from nuclear weapons and into areas such as renewables and socially useful products.”
For more information phone Arthur West on 07826 127 759 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
• The report, entitled “Disarmament through divestment: a guide for Scotland” can be viewed online at: https://nukedivestmentscot.files.wordpress.com/2021/04/2021-dbotb-scotland-guide-final-1.pdf <https://nukedivestmentscot.files.wordpress.com/2021/04/2021-dbotb-scotland-guide-final-1.pdf>
• Don’t Bank on the Bomb Scotland is a network of organisations that campaigns for Scottish banks, pension funds and public bodies to divest from companies involved in the production of nuclear weapons. Current member organisations: Medact Scotland, Scottish CND, Peace & Justice and Pax Christi Scotland.