COUNCIL pension schemes have come under fire after it was revealed over £800m was invested in fossil fuels by Strathclyde Pensions Fund.

Analysis by environmental charity Friends of the Earth has shown that Scottish council investments in fossil fuel firms increased by £146 million between 2015 and 2017.

Strathclyde Pensions Fund, which is responsible for providing pensions to council workers in East Ayrshire, invests more money in fossil fuels than any other in Scotland.

The charity said the investments in coal, oil and gas companies “fly in the face” of wider efforts to reduce dependence on the energy source.

Ric Lander of Friends of the Earth Scotland said: “Scotland’s councils are ignoring the realities of climate change.

“Their investments in deeply destructive fossil fuel companies fly in the face of Scotland’s wider efforts to phase out fossil fuel cars and ban fracking.”

The charity has called on council funds to divest from fossil fuels.

He added: “Fossil fuel companies won’t be talked into dropping their core business of digging oil, gas and coal out of the ground.

“Councillors who oversee these funds need to take action to make their pension funds compatible with a future worth living in by divesting.

“Pension funds cannot provide for a safe future whilst investing in the companies driving climate change.”

A spokesman for council body Cosla said: “The Scottish Local Government Pension Funds make investment decisions in line with their fiduciary duty and legal obligations.

“Accountability lies entirely with the Pension Funds and their respective Pension Committees with regard to the decisions made.”

The analysis also found Dumfries and Galloway Pension Fund now invests 9.4 per cent of its fund in the sector – the second highest proportion in the UK. The figures were calculated after campaigning organisation Platform obtained details of investments for 2016/17.