Category: kncmoeec

Tax changes herald arrival of uber renter says London agent

first_imgThe UK’s looming exit from the EU and the ending of permanent non-dom tax status by the Cameron government in 2015 has created a new phenomenon in the property called the uber tenant, it has been claimed.Not a tenant who uses the mobile app to get around but, says a leading north London agent, the growing number of overseas residents who rent luxury property instead of buying them.Agent Trevor Abrahamsohn of Glentree Estates (pictured, left) says fewer wealthy families are purchasing the sort of £20-£25 million mansions his company deals in and that, instead, they are renting them, often for over £100,000 a month.“With Sterling being greatly devalued and the draconian banking regulations which apply to bringing wealth in to this country, some of our international friends find it easier to rent than to buy, which is markedly pushing up prices,” says Trevor.Amit Soni (pictured, right), who runs Glentree’s rentals business, says this month his average rent for a property on his patch has been £40,000 a week, which he says is “unprecedented both for us and the locality”.“By renting these mansions, they are able to live in the same luxury as if they had purchased them, with such exotic facilities as indoor swimming pools with seven-star spas, grandiose reception rooms, more bedrooms suites than in a luxury hotel and gardens that are reminiscent of a small country estate,” he says.The maths of renting versus buying in the UK at the moment or overseas arrivals are stark. By renting they avoid Stamp Duty of £2.913 million on a £25 million freehold property and £3.67 million if bought through a company rather than as an individual.Companies that own property in the UK – a common tactic used by overseas UK residents – also have to pay an Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings (ATED) on properties valued at more than £500,000 which Glentree estimates costs circa £160,000.“In fact, saving these costs means that they can pay a higher rent which effectively, is free of charge thanks to the government’s obscene property buying taxes,” says Trevor. Amit Soni Trevor Abrahamsohn July 20, 2017Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Home » News » Housing Market » Tax changes herald arrival of uber renter says London agent previous nextHousing MarketTax changes herald arrival of uber renter says London agentLondon’s wealthy overseas residents are renting instead of buying, says Trevor AbrahamsohnNigel Lewis20th July 201701,746 Viewslast_img read more

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Birthday bash clashes with Cuppers chaos

first_imgFour days, forty shows and almost four hundred freshers: it sounds like a recipe for chaos, but this is the Drama Festival 2005. Even an Edinburgh Fringe theatre couldn’t compete with these numbers. Maybe this is just because the Cuppers shows are half the length of a Fringe show, or maybe this is because OUDS has exactly double the amount of experience, being one hundred and twenty years old this year.After less than five weeks of preparation time, the results are often dazzling, which is impressive considering that the participants didn’t even know each other a few weeks back. The freshers-only teams from almost thirty Oxford colleges take to the stage at the Burton Taylor Theatre from Ttuesday to Friday of sixth week. OUDSuds appoints ten differentjudges a day to judge the first heat of the competition and from the original forty-odd entries, ten shows are selected to go through to the final round on Ssaturday. The teams are effectively given free range to play around with their performance, lighting, sound, props and costume (while under the watchful eye of TAtaFF and within a fifty pound budget) as a sort of crash course in Oxford theatre. This certainly makes for a colourful array of different shows, with last year’s offerings including one-man shows, musicals, dance interpretations, devised pieces and one group from Balliol even squeezed a cast of forty onto the cosy Burton Taylor stage in a rendition of Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wwood.After the sweat and tears of the first round, the creme de la creme (at least in the opinion of the judges) are selected to perform in the Best of performance at the O’Rreilly on Wednesday of seventh week. This year, the week will be rounded off in style when on Ssunday of seventh week, OUDS celebrates its 120th anniversary with a dinner party at The Rrandolph Hhotel. This will precede a post-Ccuppers party and mock-Oscars award ceremony, where winners will be showered in champagne, with prizes ranging from Best New Wwriting to the Sspirit of award.Cuppers combats the two most notorious student problems: being strapped for time and equally strapped for cash. There is no excuse not to make a trip down to the Burton Ttaylor since it is just £1 a show and each one is shorter than an episode of Neighbours (and the standard of actingis undoubtedly infinitely higher). Last week, the Ssinger in the Ccaucasian Cchalk Ccircle declared his story was to last “two hours”. “Ccouldn’t you shorten it?” the Expert asks hopefully, to which the Ssinger defiantly refuses. Iif the was in Ccuppers he wouldn’t have such licence – firstly, he would have to be a much better timekeeper, and secondly he would have to shorten his story to half an hour. Hhaving had some sneak previews in the technical rehearsals last week, Ii can safely say that the unwavering variety and energy of this year’s shows will certainly keep you entertained, from scantily-clad dancers through to experimental devised pieces sure to titillate, excite, and a raise a few eyebrows. OUDS can claim to be one of the oldest university dramatic societies in Britain, and certainly the one with the longest legacy. Over the last hundred and twenty years, we have moved from an exclusive, members-only club to an inclusive society where anyone can come to try out their dramatic talents, and encapsulates this spirit. Over the decades, we have spawned such glittering alumni as Hhugh Grant, Ddudley Moore and Michael Ppalin, and perhaps the stars of the future lie somewhere in the whirl of drama activity taking place at Ccuppers this year. The full programme of events can be found outside the BT or on the website, so head on down and check out the talent.ARCHIVE: 6th week MT 2005last_img read more

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Phil Lesh & Terrapin Family Band To Honor Portland Grateful Dead Shows On 50th Anniversary

first_img[Audio: Charlie Miller][Photo: Dave Vann] [Audio: Julian (Jools) Elliott]February 3rd, 1968 Today, Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh and the Terrapin Family Band—featuring guitarists Ross James and Grahame Lesh, multi-instrumentalist Jason Crosby, and drummer Alex Koford—announced that they’d be performing a pair of shows next February to commemorate the anniversary of two stand-out Grateful Dead shows at the very same venue half-a-century prior. These shows will honor the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead’s own performances at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland, Oregon, on February 2nd and 3rd of 1968, falling exactly fifty years later on February 2nd and 3rd of 2018.Phil Lesh’s 10/30 & 10/31 Shows With Nicki Bluhm, Robert Randolph, And More To Be WebcastTickets for Phil Lesh and the Terrapin Family Band’s upcoming run at Portland’s Crystal Ballroom go on sale on Friday, October 20th. You can also take a listen to the audio from the Grateful Dead’s original shows back in 1968 to get stoked on these upcoming 50th-anniversary performances.February 2nd, 1968last_img read more

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Putting a new face, and new faces, on the 1893 World’s Fair

first_imgThe ethnic villages of the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 exposed Americans to different cultures, but they also promoted stereotypes — many of which are reflected in a picture book from the era displayed in Harvard’s Peabody Museum.To counter the book’s often-condescending descriptions of the people who were recruited from around the world to work in the fair’s Midway — in attractions such as the Moorish Palace and Eskimo Village — curators enlisted students to do research. The result is a digital display pairing the book’s 80 full-page portraits of Midway performers with new bios and context provided by students.“The descriptions in the book tend to objectify the people of the Midway, rather than recognizing them as individuals. That’s why it’s interesting to research them now,” said Nam Kim, a sophomore who searched newspapers and ads for details about two Samoans identified in the book as William and Mele.Ilisa Barbash, the museum’s curator of visual anthropology, asked students to explore how Midway personalities were presented and perceived in addition to basic biographical questions: Where were they from? Who brought them to Chicago? What happened to them after the fair? “The descriptions in the book tend to objectify the people of the Midway, rather than recognizing them as individuals. That’s why it’s interesting to research them now.” — Nam Kim, student researcher, pictured below,Katie Wu ’17 said she was surprised to read that a duo called the Farbianu sisters from Romania were musicians in the Moorish Palace.“I thought, wait a second, they’re from Romania, but they’re performing in the Moorish Palace? You bring in these ‘exotic’ cultures that most visitors wouldn’t have experienced, and you have to unpack that,” Wu said. “Eastern European culture was conflated with Arab culture.”After the fair’s six-month run saw nearly one-quarter of Americans visit, promoters sought to sustain interest with “Portrait Types of the Midway Plaisance,” originally published in 10 volumes in 1894, advertised in newspapers for 10 cents each.,Barbash said curators included the book to contrast the commercialized Midway attractions with the anthropology exhibits in the main court, which were supervised by the Peabody’s director at the time, Frederic W. Putnam. “Many Peabody visitors — and curators — can identify a fictive ancestor in ‘Portrait Types,’” Barbash said. “That’s why it’s so important to research the deeper history behind the portrait subjects. … We hope that the aspects of their exploitation, exoticization, and racist treatment in the past calls attention to such problems in the present.”In the fall, Kim will focus her research on two German performers, Mary Moser and Gustav Herold. Barbash and Diana Loren, the museum’s director of academic partnerships, said they will continue to enhance the exhibit with student work.“All the World Is Here: Harvard’s Peabody Museum and the Invention of American Anthropology” can be viewed 9 a.m.–5 p.m. daily at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, 11 Divinity Ave., Cambridge.,“Unnecessarily and unusually noisy,” Dama Waja reportedly answered when asked how she viewed Americans. Many workers in the Javanese Village, popular for its tea house and 1,000-seat theater, came to Chicago from a Dutch coffee and tea plantation in Java, student research found.*  *  *,Student researcher Kim encountered numerous news stories sexualizing Samoans, including 13-year-old Mele Leli. Despite her age, she was characterized as a Midway heartbreaker and noted in one report for her “beautiful expressive eyes.” Kim wonders if another Samoan, William, was named after a Christian missionary, and she thinks she tracked down another photo of him.*  *  *,Mary Dookshoode Annanuk, a Labrador Inuk, resided in the Eskimo Village. Despite the Chicago heat, organizers demanded her group wear traditional sealskins while demonstrating kayaking, dog sledding, hunting, and fishing techniques. After two Inuit wore jeans instead, managers locked the families in their huts until they agreed to obey the dress code. The Inuits later successfully sued for unfair labor conditions.*  *  *,Sophie and Rosa Farbianu performed in the Midway’s Moorish Palace — a labyrinthine castle with a hall of mirrors, harem, and collection of wax figures. The sisters were part of the First Roumanian Royal Concert Band, whose performances were reviewed glowingly in accounts unearthed by Wu.*  *  *,“Far-Away-Moses,” who gained fame as Mark Twain’s tour guide and dragoman in “The Innocents Abroad,” worked in a bazaar in the Turkish Village, joined there by Jamelee of Syria, who likely was a belly dancer in a cafe. Abal Kader of Southern Sudan probably played his traditional lyre-like kissar in the neighboring Street in Cairo, Barbash said.*  *  *,Ki Hing and Foke Sing were among the more than 200 entertainers who lived and performed in the Chinese Theater. Despite China’s industrial achievements, the country had no exhibition building outside the Midway, reflecting anti-Chinese sentiment at the time.*  *  *,A skilled horseman, the Laramie Kid (Harry Shanton) performed in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West traveling show. He was joined in the show by Rain-in-the-Face, a warrior mythologized in a Longfellow poem about the Battle of Little Big Horn.*  *  *,“Antonio Apache” recruited and supervised Navajo performers but wasn’t a performer himself. Western-educated and employed as an assistant by Frederic W. Putnam, head of anthropology at the fair, Antonio was held up in the “Portrait Types” caption as model of cultural assimilation, but his identity as a Native American was later contested.*  *  *,In the fall, Kim will research Gustav Herold and Mary Moser, who worked in the German Village. Related As Peabody Museum turns 150, new exhibition highlights pioneering efforts and legacy of cultural history center_img The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. The world in an exhibitlast_img read more

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Bandstand Sets Broadway Theater & Preview Dates

first_img Star Files Related Shows Bandstand will be the next occupant of the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre when The Color Purple vacates the venue on January 8, 2017. Directed and choreographed by Hamilton’s Andy Blankenbuehler and starring two-time Tony nominee Laura Osnes and Corey Cott, the previously announced transfer of the Paper Mill Playhouse production will begin previews on March 31. Opening night is scheduled for April 26.Osnes and Cott will both reprise their roles in the new tuner. Set in the smoke filled, swing fueled night clubs of 1945, Bandstand brings the against-all-odds story of singer/songwriter Donny Novitski (Cott) and his band of mismatched fellow WWII veterans to the stage. When a national radio contest to find America’s next big swing band offers a chance at instant fame and Hollywood fortune, Donny must whip his wise-cracking gang of jazzers into fighting shape. Teaming up with the beautiful young war widow Julia (Osnes) as their singer, they struggle to confront the lingering effects and secrets of the battlefield that threaten to tear them apart. Playing for every voiceless underdog in a world that has left them behind, they risk everything in the final live broadcast to redefine the meaning of victory. With an explosive original score and choreography inspired by the high energy swing rhythms of the era, Bandstand is a truly American story of love, loss, triumph and the everyday men and women whose personal bravery defined a nation.With music by Richard Oberacker, and a book and lyrics by Oberacker and Robert Taylor, the original score is strongly influenced by authentic 1940s swing music, much of which is played onstage by the characters and band members.Additional casting and creative team will be announced shortly. The Paper Mill company also included Tony winner Beth Leavel, Joe Carroll, Brandon J. Ellis, James Nathan Hopkins, Geoff Packard and Joey Pero. View Comments Laura Osnes and Corey Cott in ‘Bandstand'(Photo: Jerry Dalia)center_img Show Closed This production ended its run on Sept. 17, 2017 Bandstand Laura Osneslast_img read more

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Colin Hanlon Boards In Transit as Telly Leung Takes Leave of Absence

first_imgColin Hanlon(Photo: Emilio Madrid-Kuser) Related Shows View Comments In Transitcenter_img Colin Hanlon, who recently served as a standby in the Broadway revival of Falsettos, will transfer to In Transit beginning January 10. He assumes the role of Steven from Telly Leung, who has taken a leave of absence due to an “unexpected personal family obligation.”The new subway-set a cappella musical by Kristen Anderson-Lopez, James-Allen Ford, Russ Kaplan and Sara Wordsworth opened officially at the Circle in the Square Theatre on December 11.Prior to Falsettos, Hanlon appeared on Broadway in Rent; his additional credits include Dot, I Love You Because and Pirates of Penzance. Leung’s previous Broadway credits include Allegiance, Godspell, Pacific Overtures, Flower Drum Song and Rent.The current cast also includes Justin Guarini, Margo Seibert, James Snyder, Erin Mackey, David Abeles, Moya Angela, Steven “HeaveN” Cantor, Gerianne Pérez, Chesney Snow, Mariand Torres and Nicholas Ward. Show Closed This production ended its run on April 16, 2017last_img read more

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Lavazza ISSpresso Caffeine-Booster Rocket Fuels Astronauts & Cosmonauts’ Cosmic Journey

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York We all love our lattes.Indeed, I myself need an otherworldly amount of the caffeine-infused heal-alls just to function like a normal human being.Well now, thanks to an intergalactic partnership between Italian coffee supernovae Lavazza, Italian engineering firm Argotec and the Italian Space Agency, the courageous astronauts and cosmonauts occupying the orbiting International Space Station (ISS) more than 250 miles above the Earth will be able to enjoy the soothing rocket-fueled elixir as well—in microgravity!You might say, “Out of this world!”Touted by Lavazza back in 2014 as “the first capsule-based espresso system able to work in the extreme conditions of space, where the principles that regulate the fluid dynamics of liquids and mixtures are very different from those typical on Earth,” this extraterrestrial (Get it?) java generator was recently delivered to those bean-fiending space explorers aboard the SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule, along with 1.8 tons of supplies.Those space walkers must have been a-jonesin’ indeed—the ISSpresso coffeemaker was originally scheduled to arrive at the mega-space laboratory last year, reports Wired.Co.UK, but was destroyed when the Orbital Sciences Antares supply rocket transporting it exploded.Damn. Talk about a caffeine hangover. (See what I did there, again?)The article also states the ISSpresso was originally designed specifically to satiate the coffee fix of Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti—following her compatriot Luca Parmitano’s 2013 lament about espresso being the “only thing he really missed” in outer space, reports NPR.org—though as we all know, the magic beans are best when shared.Unlike a terrestrial coffeemaker, this amazing creation excretes the caffeine juice into a kangaroo-like pouchler, and thirsty moonwalkers can sip that magic stuff through a lil straw!The mesmerizing machine is unlike any other here on Earth, says Lavazza’s 2014 press release heralding its creation, explaining, for example, that “the plastic tube carrying the water inside a normal espresso machine has been replaced with a special steel tube designed to withstand barometric pressure of more than 400 bars.“The machine is so complex that it weighs about 20 kilograms since there are back-ups of all the critical components for safety reasons in accordance with the specifications agreed upon with the Italian Space Agency,” it continues.This revolutionary droid-like barista was first unveiled to International Astronautical Congress members, appropriately, on International Coffee Day, Sept. 29th.According to a September 2014 Space.com article, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden was so blown away by the creation at that fateful gathering [remember: This is a guy who watches mind-bending universe-cataclysmic phenomena pretty much every waking moment] that when he witnessed its celestial brewing, “’People were dragging him away,’” joked Lavazza USA CEO Ennio Ranaboldo.This fantastical machine will produce a brewing temperature of 167 degrees Fahrenheit, explains the piece, and will replicate the water pressure of the Earth-based espresso machines used in cafes. And the crew is all set—Lavazza is supplying the station with regular shipments of the good stuff on cargo runs, it adds—so they’ll never run out.The ISSpresso can conjure up espresso, broth, tea, or other hot beverages one might crave while orbiting our planet in search of the meaning of life.Milky Way, here we come!Launched in 1998, and now the largest artificial satellite in our planet’s orbit (viewable even by the naked eye (!!)), the ISS is a giant research laboratory, home to experiments in physics, human biology, meteorology and astronomy, among many other fields.The astronauts and cosmonauts shall now be able to conduct their exotic experimentations all jacked-up on joe!Yes, nothing like waking up at the station to gaze at our beautiful, spherical-blue world—or perform tests to potentially unlock the secrets of the galaxies—while sippin on some fresh, steaming-hot java!Of course, imbibing this intergalactic heal-all in near-weightlessness is not the same as simply downing a venti at your local Buckler (not to be confused with Bucks County, Pa.), or even several daily gallons among the caffeine hounds housed within the venerable Press newsroom (though that crew downs enough of the funky dark stuff to fuel an entire fleet of spaceships, I’m sure), not by any stretch of the imagination. Such a special drink will require a very special vehicle to transport the lightning juice to the space travelers’ bloodstream, and thus, besides those dainty lil straws, specially designed boot-shaped mugs were also created.These are forged of plastic and feature transparent walls so that the courageous orbiters can see just how much of the good stuff they are holding to ensure they do not have an interplanetary miscalculation—and risk the java splashing their spacesuit’s and floating across the station, flying onto control panels or other extremely expensive and sensitive tests and equipment.That would be an interplanetary mess, dear friends! We quite simply cannot have one of the cosmonauts shouting:“Хьюстон! Владимир снова пролил Java! он плавает по направлению к панели управления! Быстро! кто-то передать мне тряпку!”(Translation: “Houston! Vladimir spilled the java again! It is floating toward the control panels! Quickly! Someone hand me a rag!”)No bueno, as my brother always says. No bueno, indeed. Talk about a “Floater.” [Press slang for—hell, use your imagination.]And no, dear interplanetary jazz-freak pirates, unfortunately there is no Buckler up among the stars. Not yet, at least. No D-Squared, no precious Gevalia, no “Brooklyn Java,” B-Squared or “Mocha Java” blends from Fairway Market, no maple brew from Crazy Beans, no enigmatic yak-butter coffee, interstellar s’mores lattes from Sweetie Pies On Main, soul-satisfying coldbrew from Georgio’s Coffee Roasters, nor blessed Ethiopian Yirgacheffe from the knowledgeable and groovy crew at The Massapequa Perkler, either, I’m afraid. [RIP, Lucky.]Not yet. Perhaps then, the cosmic gadabouts could partake in a special zero-gravity coffee ceremony.Alas, until then, we can always wish upon a star—or that bright twinklin’ space station as it careens by on its caffeine-propelled journey to unlocking the secrets of this wild, gorgeous, java-tweakin’ universe.last_img read more

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Shop investment frenzy could backfire

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

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Artists in residence

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

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UK minister ups the ante on pension funds and climate change

first_imgThe UK pensions minister took the opportunity of London Climate Action Week to reinforce his views that the country’s pension funds both can and must play a role in “tackling climate change”.Addressing delegates at an event on Monday, Guy Opperman suggested pension fund trustees holding oil and gas securities may be doing so because they doubted the government’s commitment to emissions reductions – and they would be wrong to do so.“Perhaps they suspect that governments aren’t serious, that we won’t meet our targets and that we’ll carry on with large net carbon emissions to 2100 and beyond,” he said. The consequences of that, however, would be “dismal”, he added.“There absolutely is the political will to address this climate emergency from both the government and all the opposition parties,” Opperman continued. “If those of you in the room ever doubted your individual or collective power, I encourage you to realise it now. “There absolutely is the political will to address this climate emergency from both the government and all the opposition parties”Guy Opperman, minister for pensions and financial inclusion“It doesn’t let you just set the target, it requires that once you set the target you set a pathway to get there and you put in place the policies in order to deliver it,” he said at another London Climate Action Week event.“It is now law that the secretary of state for energy must bring forward a policy package in order to meet the net-zero target. This is not just some wishy-washy goal.”The driving force of regulationDuring his speech on Monday, Opperman also highlighted new and proposed regulation affecting pension schemes. He said: “I don’t want to hear any more that ‘climate change is important, but we leave it to our investment managers’.”Pension funds’ statements of investment principles had for “too long… been formulaic, generic and detached”, he said, adding that he intended to use transparency to change this.Under new regulations adopted this year, defined contribution (DC) schemes have to publish their investment policies and report on them annually.Opperman also said the legislation he had introduced to transpose the updated Shareholder Rights Directive also obliged defined benefit schemes to publish their policies on climate change. Credit: Ralf Vetterle Addressing the UK’s carbon output ‘will require a shift in policymaking’According to the CCC’s Thompson, the government’s approach to climate change was “far too siloed” and that a “pretty fundamental shift” was required in the approach to policymaking.“We’ve got too many departments… who just haven’t made the progress that we need,” he said. “This has to be owned by the new prime minister [and] the chancellor. They have to be corralling all the secretaries of state to put this front and centre of policymaking in every department.“All the major decisions that are made are going to have to go through a net-zero filter if we’re going to get to this target.”Fossil fuel divestment Neatly bookending London Climate Action Week, two royal institutions today announced divestment of shares in fossil fuel companies. The Royal College of Emergency Medicine cut the investments from its £1.3m endowment fund, according to a statement, and the Royal Society of Arts did the same for its £17m portfolio.Yesterday the National Trust, a conservation charity, announced it would sell out of all fossil fuel companies over the next three years in its investment funds, in addition to increasing engagement with asset managers to encourage them to improve their environmental performance, and seeking out opportunities to support green start-up businesses. “This legislation commits the UK to a path that pension funds must play a massive role in.”Last week the UK became the first major economy to adopt a law to end its contribution to global warming by 2050.According to Mike Thompson, head of carbon budgets at the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), which recommended the government adopt the target, the Climate Change Act “is probably the strongest piece of climate legislation in the world”.center_img The UK has brought forward some of the most ambitious global warming targets in Europe, according to commentators“Many defined benefit schemes are de-risked, but the £1.5trn [€1.65trn] of assets means even small percentage allocations have a significant impact on where investment is directed,” he said.Opperman also brought up government proposals for larger DC schemes to disclose and report on a “clear” policy on infrastructure investment and other illiquid assets, saying he was considering the next steps “and would personally like to go much further”. The proposals were unveiled in February, with a consultation running until the beginning April.Opperman also highlighted new governance regulations “that require trustees both to have an effective system of governance, including consideration of [ESG]; and to document how they assess risks from climate change and risks from the low carbon transition”.The UK government this week published its green finance strategy, which revealed that, together with The Pensions Regulator, it had set up a working group to produce guidance for pension schemes about carrying out and reporting a climate risk assessment, with a view to this feeding into a governance code with “statutory footing”.“I take this very seriously,” said the minister, “and I am very aware of the consequences on not addressing the long-term climate emergency. I hope you look in the mirror and look at what role you can play.”Helping pension funds to helpAccording to the organisers of the event – Sustineri, Pensions for Purpose and Accounting for Sustainability – Opperman and other policymakers in attendance also heard from pension funds about what would help them to deliver on climate goals.The event was held under Chatham House rules, but according to a report by the co-hosts, one of the main discussion points was that investors needed a more joined-up approach across government and regulatory regimes. The need for a coherent renewables policy and stronger carbon pricing was mentioned. Credit: © National Trust Images/Andrew ButlerA National Trust site in Cambridgeshire, EnglandPeter Vermeulen, National Trust’s chief financial officer said: “Many organisations have been working hard to persuade fossil fuel companies to invest in green alternatives. These companies have made insufficient progress and now we have decided to divest from fossil fuel companies.”Shirley Rodrigues, deputy mayor of London for environment and energy, welcomed the organisations’ decisions.“London is the global hub of the divestment movement and it is vitally important to divest pension funds from fossil fuels to help address our climate emergency,” she added.There is a big debate about whether divestment or engagement with companies is the best way to effect change. In a recent report, UBS Asset Management said the threat of divestment, together with shareholder votes, were “direct and powerful tools that can be used to put pressure on corporations because they place incentives at the heart of their raison d’être – generating value for shareholders”. Legal & General Investment Management recently announced it would cut ExxonMobil from its Future World funds as part of its “engagement with consequences” programme, while the Church of England has set a deadline of 2023 for its engagement programme with fossil fuel companies.Earlier this week a trio of senior figures working for UK occupational pension schemes signed a pledge to recommend to their boards and investment committees to “insist” on asset managers actively engaging with corporate boards to disclose a clear business plan to transition to a low carbon future.Earlier this year, more than 300 investors backing Climate Action 100+ were urged to adopt “a consistent, outcomes-focused and transparent escalation process” for their engagement with companies.last_img read more

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