Updated: Tuesday, 11th August 2020 @ 4:38pm

Pensions 'at risk': Fossil fuel investment wipes out £148m of Greater Manchester fund

Pensions 'at risk': Fossil fuel investment wipes out £148m of Greater Manchester fund

| By Simon Allin

Public sector workers’ pensions in Greater Manchester could be at risk due to their exposure to investments in harmful fossil fuels.

The Greater Manchester Pension Fund has lost an estimated £148 million over the last 18 months on its investments in coal mining.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney recently warned about ‘potentially huge’ losses from falling share prices in fossil fuel companies as global policymakers look to combat climate change.

The GMPF is the pension fund for public sector workers from all 10 Greater Manchester councils but employees from schools, colleges, Manchester Metropolitan University, Transport for Greater Manchester and the University of Bolton among others. 

Fossil Free Greater Manchester spokesperson Stuart Bowman said: "GMPF is exposing its members to unnecessary financial risk by continuing to invest in fossil fuel companies.

“The world's scientists are telling us that we need to act now to prevent catastrophic climate change and we need to shift investment away from fossil fuels.

“GMPF should act now before fossil fuel share prices fall any further."

As the need to prevent catastrophic climate change becomes increasingly urgent, investors around the world have begun to move away from coal, oil and gas.

High profile investors such as The Leonardo DiCaprio Fund and the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund have already withdrawn a total of $2.6 trillion from fossil fuel firms.

Residents in Greater Manchester can encourage the GMPF to follow their lead by signing an online petition at http://bit.ly/divestgmpf.

Picture courtesy of Emillian Robert Vicol, with thanks.