Tell The Greater Manchester's Mayor to Support Ending Fossil Fuel Investments By The Greater Manchester Pension Fund
Please could you tell Greater Manchester Mayor (Andy Burnham) to support ending fossil fuel investments by the Greater Manchester Pension Fund?
Have you ever thought how the money in your pension is invested?
The shocking truth for many public sector workers in Greater Manchester is that their pension scheme is the dirtiest in the UK. Even more shocking is that while the politicians who run the scheme declare climate emergencies, they refuse to act now to end investments in fossil fuels. They say they care about climate change and they’ll divest BUT they will take 30 years to do it.
But it's not just an issue for the pension fund members, we all pay into this scheme as council tax payers, and it is run mostly by local democratically accountable councillors from all 10 Greater Manchester boroughs.
The Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham is in a unique position of having influence over all of the Greater Manchester local authorities. He has good policies on the climate emergency and has been very public in his support for "green' issues.
However there is one policy position that doesn't fit. His support for the Greater Manchester Pension Fund's investment policy (see below). If we can persuade him to break ranks with the GMPF and support a rapid end to their investments in fossil fuels, it will send a powerful message and begin to undermine GMPF's entrenched position and refusal to engage on the issue.
The Facts behind Greater Manchester Pension Fund's Hypocrisy.
- £1.8bn invested in Fossil fuel companies (8% of fund). Including £411M invested in coal extraction.
- More than other Local Authority pension schemes (compare with Lancashire at 2%) – the dirtiest Public Sector Pension Fund.
- GMPF say they care about climate change and they’ll divest BUT by 2050 - far too long.
- GMPF also say they can influence fossil fuel companies to clean up their act (same ones who funded climate change denial campaigns and politicians).
- Fossil fuels are increasingly risky investments, they no longer offer the guaranteed returns of the past. In fact there is now the risk of them becoming 'stranded assets' with little value and impossible to sell.
- Make the fund fossil free within the next 2 years.
- Immediately move all investments out of the most polluting fossil fuels (coal, tar sands & fracking).
- Develop a strategy to invest in local Green economy of Greater Manchester (like building carbon neutral social housing).
For more information read this excellent briefing by Fossil Free Greater Manchester.