All four of the candidates who attended the environment hustings on Friday evening (28 April) said they would call on GMPF to divest from fossil fuels.
The candidates were, in order of speaking on this question:
Sean Anstee, Conservative Party
Andy Burnham, Labour Party
Jane Brophy, Liberal Democrats
Will Patterson, Green Party
The question asked by Mark Burton from Fossil Free Greater Manchester was:
Investing in coal, oil and gas companies drives climate change and puts our pension savings at risk. If elected, would you call on the Greater Manchester Pension Fund to divest the £1.3 billion it currently has invested in the fossil fuel industry?
Andy Burnham said there should be a plan to divest and migrate away from the energy of the past to the energy of the future, with a big emphasis on renewable energy here in Greater Manchester. Sean Anstee framed his answer in terms of sustainable growth in Greater Manchester. Jane Brophy said it was important to lead from the front on this issue. Will Patterson said that there was no business case for investment in fossil fuels doesn’t even make business sense: the policy can be supported on good business grounds and to create 60,000 new jobs. It would be great to make the call in Divestment Week from 8 May.
A full video from the event can be seen here: