COUNCIL workers' pension pots in York and the North and East Ridings of Yorkshire have taken a hit in the last year due to fossil fuel investments.

Both the North Yorkshire Pension Fund, and its counterpart in the East Riding of Yorkshire, are among the local council pension funds which have lost out because of investments in coal firms.

Research by campaign body Platform London looked at public sector pension funds and the money they have in four big mining firms: BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Glencore and Anglo American.

They found that as share prices in the companies dropped over the last 18 months until the beginning of this month, 61 pension funds across the country have lost a total of up to £683 million.

For the North Yorkshire fund - which covers York - that loss amounts to £16.9 million or 0.82 percent of its total value.

The East Riding fund is the third most affected fund in the whole of the UK, losing £35 million or 1.07 percent of its value. Only Manchester, which lost £148 million, and Teesside which lost £137 million, were hit worse.

Platform London's researcher Mika Minio-Paluello cited comments from Bank of England governor Mark Carney who warned that coal was "stranded asset" which could not be accessed because of its environmental impact, meaning the financial valuation of fossil fuel companies would be affected.

Ms Minio-Paluello: "Carney is right about stranded assets. But this is a problem for today, not tomorrow. Our local councils are risking pension funds by investing into coal and fossil fuels, as advised by City firms raking in millions in fees. The burden of failing coal companies will be dumped on the public and pensioners. Local government workers deserve more say over where their pensions are invested."

Last week, city councillors in York voted for a push to pull council money including pension funds out of fossil fuel companies even though council leader Chris Steward, who is a stockbroker, said such a move would be impossibly complex.

Councillors in the Green, Labour and Liberal Democrat groups voted through a motion asking the council to consider no more fossil fuel investments.