Protesters urge Greater Manchester leaders to divest from fossil fuels 

Campaigners protested against fossil fuel investments in Bury today, calling on the city leaders to make a commitment to net zero.

Unison members and other campaigners gathered outside a meeting of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority on Thursday, asking the Mayor and Council leaders to call on their Greater Manchester Pension Fund (GMPF) and get rid of the climate-damaging investments in Shell and other fossil fuel companies.

“We want the Mayor and all the GM Council Leaders to get their act together and push for GMPF to make a strong climate commitment for the sake of all its members. This means urgently planning to end investment in oil and gas,” said campaign member, Maggie Walker.

The protests were raised after a report released on Tuesday showed GM has the largest investments in fossil fuel companies. Based on the report, 6% of the £29 billion GM fund is invested in fossil fuel companies, while nearby Lancashire and Cheshire East have only invested 0.3% and 1.6% of their fund, respectively.

Unison member Sam O’Brien said: “Unison members are very concerned about climate change. Just this week we’ve seen homes flooded in England and Scotland as another storm wreaks devastation, not to mention the lives lost to climate breakdown around the world. There is powerful local action that councillors can take. Councillors need to agree to stop investing in Shell and BP which are still exploring new oil fields.”

GMPF is the UK’s largest local authority pension fund with over £1.3bn directly invested in fossil fuel companies engaged in coal mining and oil and gas extraction.

Feature Image courtesy of Manchester Friends of the Earth

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