Greater Manchester Pension Fund: an obstacle to action on climate change?

A new report “Fuelling the Fire” shows that UK council pension funds are still investing billions (£16 Billion in fact) in fossil fuel companies. The sums invested have increased, although this is more a result of stock value and currency movements than an actual strategy of ramping up fossils.  However, it also means that little progress has been made on taking the monety out of these risky investments and putting it to better use.   Our local fund, the Greater Manchester Pension Fund (GMPF) is a big part of the problem.  At nearly £1.7Bn  is holds more than 10% of the total fossil investment of UK local government pension funds.  That’s the biggest absolute holding (OK it’s the biggest fund) and also the biggest percentage holding (so being the biggest fund doesn’t work as an excuse).  This is risky stuff given that there is a carbon bubble – most of the assets of these companies can’t be used, if even the modest aspiration of Paris

are to be met.
And it is risky for all of humanity, GM pensioners, their families, not to mention people in Bangladesh, the Andes, the Pacific islands and Manhattan.  That’s because companies use capital to continue opening up new reserves and then promoting their combustion.  That’s your money, GMPF scheme members.

 

Just think of what good that money could be doing if divested (in a responsible, planned way) from fossil fuels and re-invested in Greater Manchester.  GMPF has made investments in housing (some of it social) and in renewable energy, but these investments are insignificant compared to the fossil fuel stakes.

To learn more – see the press release from Fossil FreeGreater Manchester: http://fossilfreegm.org.uk/index.php/2017/11/09/greater-manchester-councils-investing-1-8-billion-climate-wrecking-companies/
and the full report is here: http://gofossilfree.org/uk/fuellingthefire
Press coverage:

The Financial Times covered it here – and “Greater Manchester Pension Fund did not respond to requests for comment.”

The Meteor covered it here.

Salford Star covered it here.

About Manchester covered it here.

Manchester Evening News has still to cover the story.

 

 

 

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